Stand With Ezra

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fractured Thinking From The NDP

Mulcair came out of hiding yesterday and he seemed extra grumpy about the boon to mankind known as fracking.  He even cited the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to back him up.  Have a look.


Dear me those are some tough questions.  Shall I spoil it?  Would you like to know what is Frack Fluid?  I'll save it for later.  NDP righteous indignation is something to savor.  Its not exactly the Colonels secret sauce but trade secrets are the issue here not the environment.

There's something else that Mulcair said that is more troubling.  "The number of fracking wells accross Canada is expected to double by 2020," thundered the anti-development NDP leader.  (How horrible! /sarc)

When the NDP acts alarmed at the doubling of drilling and fracing activity, its because they don't want any activity.  They see it as inherently wrong to grow an industry.

I might remind some of you that every single well drilled anywhere today is fracked.  They have been fracking wells for over 60 years and regularly for almost 40 years.  
Then

The only difference between then and now is the horizontal aspect and its corresponding multistage fracking techniques.  "Packers" basically seal off segments of the horizontal section and hydraulically (using water pressure for the morons) fracture the zone as if it were a regular old vertical well.  No extra pressure.  Negligible extra water.

Now

Every well is fracked for the same reason that almost every well is now horizontal and fracked.  Wells are expensive to drill.  Fracking increases production from the zone and horizontal drilling hits more of the zone than a vertical well could.  Its pretty simple. 

Even simplicity can be a problem when it comes to these eco-tards.  The diagrams above for example have been significantly dumbed down.  They are more like schematics that allow a total novice to quickly wrap their minds around it.  They are not to scale!

You've probably already encountered a know-nothing activist who's been taken in by a pamphlet with similar diagrams.  My goodness that's like 100 meters below your garden!   Look at the size of those cracks! They must cause earthquakes! (lol)

Ok, first the fracking itself.  These are hairline fractures they are creating.  They use sand grains (proppant) to lodge into and hold the cracks open once they let the pressure off.  Got it?  No earthquake was ever caused by a tiny crack a kilometer below the surface. 

Now the scale.  Here is a chart of very tall man made structures for some perspective. 

Some Perspective

See that pyramid?  Its only 150 meters tall.  Somewhere between the Eiffel Tower and the Great Pyramid is where they would drill their "Surface Casing."  By law they stop there to "Case" (install permanent 1/4" thick steel pipe) and cement it to the surrounding rock. 

Even if they stop there, they have already surpassed any drinkable aquifer by over 100 meters.  Oilmen have been doing this part for over a century.  Only drilling down to the equivalent height of the Burj Khalifa do they begin to turn into the horizontal (the kickoff point).  It still takes several hundreds of meters to "land" or bend drill pipe enough that its drilling horizontal.

Every well is different but its typical to see wells ~1km or ~1.5km of true vertical depth.  I can't think of anything that can compare to this depth.  A wall of rock 1.5km thick could stop a nuclear bomb.  It would take a planet killer meteor strike to unearth those depths.  Plans to store nuclear waste underground don't even come close to this. 

It's another planet down there.  Its hot: ~200 degrees Celsius in any weather.  Its wet: the inland sea that used to cover much of Canada is still down there with the ancient lithified reefs, sand bars, and mud banks.  Its brackish: the salt is still there along with a soup of other minerals that dissolve a lot more readily at that temperature, pressure and eons in the dark. 

In fact it isn't much different than the fracking fluid.  That is the big secret.  Brackish water is used for fracking.  They do use some small amounts of addatives to tailor the fluids properties to match the specific geology of the zone.  They can make the fluid more or less viscous or acidic or resistant to changes in Ph (buffers).  The really exciting stuff can make the fluid less viscous at low pressure and more viscous at high pressure.  This allows it to flow easily at the surface where you want it to flow and push against the rock at depth where you want it to fracture. 

The Human mind is the greatest resource.  I love humanity. 


Waste water is recycled for fracking again and again.  Did you think they left it in the ground?  Once the well is fracked the pressure is reversed (duh!).  Oil, water, condensate, all of it goes back up the well bore.  Condensate floats on oil and oil floats on water so when they start producing water they know the well is "dry".

Once fracking is finished all the fluid is carted away to a treatment plant to remove anything that affects the fracking equipment.  Nobody will ever drink this water.  Its cleaned up to the extent that it can be used again in the next well.  Dissolved Iron is one example nuisance that has to be removed before re-use. 

All this is done in farmers fields with bored cattle looking on.  They are there and then they are gone.  A well is being fracked not 2 minutes from where I sit in my home right now.  I am not a gambling man.  I have absolute trust that my life and those of my loved ones and neighbors and all our dreams and fortunes are safe from these routine tried and tested operations.  These operations allow us all to live healthier wealthier lives together and have done so for decades. 

Doesn't it strike you as just a little odd, that when peak oil is a distant concern, and clean burning natural gas is abundant and cheap, that suddenly fracking becomes the next global warming?  Do me a favor?  Next time one of these ignorant closet Marxist green cultist pukes tries to "raise your awareness" make them aware they should go pound oil sand.

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