December 31, 2012

Water Shortage

Interesting article in Bloomberg
Water Scarcity Threatens Energy Plans From U.S. to China
But what is really fascinating about the perspective of the article is that water shortage is bad for the industry - and not one mention of concern for human, animal, plant life!  We cannot use up water to fill up gas lines and tankers. 

When George Mitchell made his discovery back in the 90s that water was more efficient to use in fracturing gas wells than various gels and frac recipes, he did not calculate the magnitude of the ramifications of this technological breakthrough.    What has happened between that time period of the 1990s and 2012 is pause for serious concern.    One company's quick fix has become a central argument on a worldwide issue of  dwindling supply of fresh, clean drinking water.

To continue to suggest that "fracking has been around since the 40s" or more is only a half truth.  The intensity of drill operations today increasingly use high volume hydraulic fracturing requiring millions of gallons of fresh water supplies.  This is a technology that must stop.
"Of course, innovation is one thing. Whether it's good for society is quite another. And, like nuclear energy and genetic engineering, fracking draws critics, fearful of the drilling effects on drinking water, and the carbon emissions implications."
Now in his early 90s, even Mr Mitchell's view on the future dependence of fossil fuels including natural gas has changed.  In the article he talks about the need for fossil fuel taxes and strong regulation.  His foundation provides funding to research clean energy.  See:  The Oil Man Who Figured Out Fracking

So in just 15 years we have already come to recognize a very serious flaw in high volume hydraulic fracturing: lack of fresh water supply.  There are many more issues of course, but this one alone should be more than enough to say stop - we must do better!

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