No to marcellus shale drilling and hydro fracing
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NO to Marcellus Shale Drilling and Hydro Fracing. By: Cory Drexel And Nate Costello. Marcellus Basic Facts. The Marcellus Shale formation is located in Eastern North America. The Geological formation gets it name from a nearby outcrop in the Village of Marcellus.

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No to marcellus shale drilling and hydro fracing

NO to Marcellus Shale Drilling and Hydro Fracing

By: Cory Drexel


Nate Costello

Marcellus basic facts
Marcellus Basic Facts

  • The Marcellus Shale formation is located in Eastern North America. The Geological formation gets it name from a nearby outcrop in the Village of Marcellus.

  • The Shale formation stretches across much of the Appilachian Mountain Basin.

Marcellus basic facts cont
Marcellus Basic Facts (cont.)

  • The Marcellus Shale is a source of untapped Natural Gas Reserves, making it one of the most attractive site for Drilling, Fracing and ultimately Energy Development.

  • The Gas in the Shale is produced from organic materials in the earth after they have succumb to thermogenic decomposition under extreme pressure and high temperatures.

Natural gas in marcellus
Natural Gas in Marcellus

  • The Gas is usually contained within “Pores” of the Shale. But it also found in the natural Vertical fractures of the Shale.

  • In April of 2009, the US Department of Energy estimated Marcellus to contain 262 TCF (trillion cubic feet) of harvestable natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Hydraulic Fracturing is the process of pumping water and a mixture of other chemicals into the earth under high pressures to release natural gas from the pores and grooves of the Shale.

  • Fracing works because the Shale won’t be able to absorb the fluid as quickly as it is being injected after a certain point. The shale begins to crack at this point and then the chemical (proppants specifically) being pumped into the earth hold the cracks open. Allowing the gas to flow freely into wells.

The impacts of hydraulic fracturing
The Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Of all the chemicals pumped into the earth during Fracing, studies show that an average about 20 to 40% stay underground. These chemicals contain a compound known as Benzene. Benzene, able to cause cancer, is capable even in small quantities to contaminate millions of gallons of water.

  • The EPA declared that as many as 9 chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are at concentrations that are hazardous to human health.

Laws and regulations
Laws and Regulations

  • New York City, under the NYC Gas Fuel Code has made it illegal to drill and frac within the cities limits.

  • Pennsylvania has followed the same trend.

  • A GEIS, or Generic Environmental Impact Statement, provides a comprehensive review of the potential environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling and production and how they are mitigated. The Department is preparing a supplemental GEIS to assess issues unique to horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing of the Marcellus and other low permeability reservoirs. Governor Paterson directed DEC to supplement the GEIS when he signed the spacing bill (see Offsite Links at right).

Laws and regulations cont
Laws and regulations (cont).

  • While the process of preparing the Supplemental GEIS is ongoing, any entity that applies for a drilling permit for horizontal drilling in the Marcellus Shale and opts to proceed with its permit application will be required to undertake an individual, site-specific environmental review. That review must take into account the same issues being considered in the Supplemental GEIS process and must be consistent with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the state Environmental Conservation Law.

Horizontal drilling
Horizontal Drilling

  • Horizontal drilling is the process of drilling a well from the surface of the earth to a subsurface layer just above the target gas reservoir known as the kickoff point. Then deviating the well bore from the vertical plane around a curve to intersect the reservoir at the “entry point” with a near-horizontal inclination, and remaining within the reservoir until the desired bottom hole location is reached.

Frac drilling
Frac Drilling

  • Why it’s a problem

    • Horizontal drilling can release the trapped radioactive material

    • Contaminated frac water

      • Surface run-off

      • Where will it be stored/purified?

    • Source of frac water

    • Contaminate ground water

Regulations against fracing
Regulations Against Fracing

  • New York City has passed regulations against drilling within city limits

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has since followed suit in November of this year

  • Pennsylvania has unspecified regulation of who can authorize withdrawal of water and from what sources

Natural gas suppy
Natural Gas Suppy

  • Many believe that the shale contains over 100 years supply

  • Recent studies show that based on current consumption levels there is just 7 year supply

  • “Sweet Spots” are often smaller than suspected

    • Haynesville has found less than 10% of originally promoted land contained within “sweet spot”

    • Barnett Shale shown only about 2 and a half counties opposed to the original 17

Average well life
Average Well Life

  • 25-35% of wells are not covering costs

  • How can you project future well’s declination

  • State of Pennsylvania does not publish monthly production data

    • How can results be analyzed or criticized

Infrastructure problems
Infrastructure Problems

  • Insufficient pipelines and storage capacity

    • Current wells being drilled to hold leases are losing profit

  • Plans for getting the large volumes of water needed for fracing are difficult to get approved

  • Waste treatment plants that are required to clean the highly contaminated frac water

  • What amount of land is needed to contain any problems a well may incur

Public opposition
Public Opposition

  • People are fearful of contamination of their drinking water as promoted by videos of residents setting their tap water on fire

  • Suggestion that these drill sites will be placed within protected state parks

  • Withdrawal of water needed for frac will be detrimental to ecosystems

  • Scenery degradation

Works cited
Works Cited


  • Http://