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FRACKING

Fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing, and both terms describe the process used to frack (or frac) Marcellus Shale gas wells. To release methane from shale, high pressure is used to crack the shale formation. While there are alternatives to water for fracking gas wells (like nitrogen) production companies prefer to use water since higher hydraulic pressures can be created.

  Some reports indicate these pressures can reach as high as 10,000 to 15,000 psi (pounds per square inch). Chemicals are added to the water and sand for the 'slick water' hydraulic fracturing commonly used on Marcellus wells.
 
 

New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years

May 1, 2012 - Scientists have theorized that impermeable layers of rock would keep the fluid, which contains benzene and other dangerous chemicals, safely locked nearly a mile below water supplies. This view of the earth's underground geology is a cornerstone of the industry's argument that fracking poses minimal threats to the environment.

But the study, using computer modeling, concluded that natural faults and fractures in the Marcellus, exacerbated by the effects of fracking itself, could allow chemicals to reach the surface in as little as "just a few years." "Simply put, [the rock layers] are not impermeable," said the study's author, Tom Myers, an independent hydrogeologist whose clients include the federal government and environmental groups.

Story

Below is a collection of fracking photos which show the wide array of fracking equipment that needs to be assembled on a Marcellus Shale drilling pad to frac a well. During fracking activities, truck traffic to a well site is extremely heavy.
  

Fracking Marcellus gas wells in Pennsylvania
Fracking Marcellus Shale gas wells in S.W. Pennsylvania
 
 
Frac sand truck
Tractor trailer used for carrying frac sand.

One well can require 50 to 60 tractor trailer loads of frac sand.

Most well pads have several wells.
 

WHERE DOES ALL THAT FRAC SAND COME FROM?
 
 
 
Hydraulic fracturing in progress on Marcellus Shale
Aerial photo of fracking with fracture pumps
lined-up in rows on well pad
 
 
Rows of high pressure pumps on a well pad
Fracture pumps are used in series to produce the
10,000 to 15,000 psi used to crack the shale
 
 

Use of Diesel Fuel in Fracking

Injection of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Containing Diesel Fuel:
By Company (2005-2009)

 Company

Volume (gallons)

 Basic Energy Services

204,013

 BJ Services

11,555,538

 Complete

4,625

 Frac Tech

159,371

 Halliburton

7,207,216

 Key Energy Services

1,641,213

 RPC

4,314,110

 Sanjel

3,641,270

 Schlumberger

443,689

 Superior

833,431

 Trican

92,537

 Weatherford

2,105,062

 Total

32,202,075

Injection of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Containing Diesel Fuel:
By State (2005-2009)

 State

Volume (gallons)

 

State

Volume (gallons)

 AK

39,375

 

MS

221,044

 AL

2,464

 

MT

662,946

 AR

414,492

 

ND

3,138,950

 CA

26,466

 

NM

605,480

 CO

1,331,543

 

OK

3,337,325

 FL

377

 

PA

589

 KS

50,304

 

TX

16,031,927

 KY

212

 

UT

404,572

 LA

2,971,255

 

WY

2,954,747

 MI

8,007

 

Total

32,202,075

Source: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce - Democrats
Jan. 31, 2011

 
 
Halliburton truck
Drilling industry truck on a Pa. interstate
 
 
Green fluid tanks and pumps lined up on a well pad
Fluid impoundment next to an active frac site
 
 
Frack sand railcars
Four frac sand railcars next to storage towers
 
 
US counties with hydraulic fracturing
Map of Fracked Counties in the US
Source: U.S. EPA
 
 
Dust rising from fracking operation
Square, green frac tanks and red fracture pumps
lined-up in rows on a drilling pad
 
 
Fracking chemicals
White plastic cube-shaped containers of
frac chemicals on tractor trailers
 
 
A LOOK AT FRAC CHEMICALS USED FOR
OHIO VALLEY LBC UNIT 8H OG WELL

Company: Range Resources
Fracture date: 4th Quarter 2011
True Vertical Depth: 6,409 feet
Total Water Volume: 2,603,404 gallons
Photos of site

SOME OF THE CHEMICALS USED
Source of chemical list: FracFocus
Chemical descriptions: Multiple sources
TRADE NAME PURPOSE INGREDIENTS CHEMICAL ABSTRACT SERVICE NUMBER (CAS #)
37% HCL Cleans perforation HCL 7647-01-0
CI-100 Corrosion Inhibitor Methanol 67-56-1
   

Methanol has a high toxicity in humans. If ingested the median lethal dose is typically 4 fl oz.

    Propargyl Alcohol 107-19-7
   

Propargyl alcohol is a primary skin irritant and a severe eye and mucous membrane irritant. It is toxic by ingestion, inhalation, and skin adsorption. The oral LD50 for rats is 70 mg/kg (WARNING LABEL – Moderate Toxicity).

MC B-8520 Antibacterial Agent 4,4-Dimethyloxazolidine 51200-87-4
   

Dimethyloxazolidine has been placed in Toxicity Category I for its effects as a severe eye irritant. 4,4-Dimethyloxazolidine is slightly to moderately toxic to birds on an acute basis and slightly toxic on a subacute basis. It demonstrates slight toxicity to both cold and warm freshwater fish, and is slightly toxic to freshwater invertebrates on an acute basis.

    3,4,4-Trimethyloxazolodine 75673-43-7
    2-Amino-2-methyl-1-propanol 124-68-5
   

AMP (2-Amino-2-methyl-1-propanol) is a skin irritant, severe eye irritant, and toxic by ingestion. Causes severe irritation. Inhalation may be fatal as a result of spasm, inflammation, and edema of laryns and bronchi, chemical pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema. Symptoms of exposure may include burning sensation, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting.

    Formaldehyde Amine 56652-26-7
MC B-8650 Antibacterial Agent Glutaraldehyde 111-30-8
   

The following health effects have been reported in hospital workers exposed to glutaraldehyde: Throat and lung irritation; Asthma, asthma-like symptoms, and breathing difficulty; Nose irritation, sneezing, and wheezing; Nosebleed; Burning eyes and conjunctivitis; Rash-contact and/or allergic dermatitis; Staining of the hands (brownish or tan); Hives; Headaches and Nausea.

    Methanol 67-56-1
   

Methanol has a high toxicity in humans. If ingested the median lethal dose is typically 4 fl oz.

Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations

FRACKING CHEMICALS

 
A LOOK AT FRAC CHEMICALS USED FOR
TRAX FARMS INC 3H OG WELL

  Company: Chesapeake
  Fracture date: June 27, 2011
  True Vertical Depth: 7,229 feet
  Total Water Volume: 6,896,946 gallons
  Photos of site

SOME OF THE CHEMICALS USED
Source of chemical list: FracFocus
Chemical descriptions: Multiple sources

TRADE NAME PURPOSE INGREDIENTS CHEMICAL ABSTRACT NUMBER (CAS #)
Acid, Hydrochloric 15% Acid Hydrochloric Acid 7647-01-0
   

Concentrated hydrochloric acid (fuming hydrochloric acid) forms acidic mists. Both the mist and the solution have a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines.

WIC-641L Iron Control Agent Citric Acid 77-92-9
WAI-251LC Corrosion Inhibitor Ethylene Glycol 107-21-1
   

Ethylene glycol has been shown to be toxic to humans and is also toxic to domestic pets such as cats and dogs. Ethylene glycol is a toxic, colorless, odorless, almost nonvolatile liquid with a sweet taste and is occasionally consumed by children and dogs for its sweetness. Following ingestion the symptoms of poisoning follow a 3 step progression starting with intoxication and vomiting, before causing metabolic acidosis, cardiovascular dysfunction, and finally acute kidney failure.

    Dimethyl Formamide 68-12-2
   

Dimethylformamide (DMF) has been linked to cancer in humans, and it is thought to cause birth defects. In some sectors of industry women are banned from working with DMF.

    *Proprietary* *N/A*
    Decanol 112-30-1
   

Decanol causes a high irritability to skin and eyes, when splashed into the eyes it can cause permanent damage. Inhalation and ingestion can be harmful; it is harmful in the environment.

    Isopropanol (Isopropyl Alcohol, Propan-2-ol) 67-63-0
    Octanol 111-87-5
    2-Butoxyethanol (Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether) 111-76-2
   

Moderate respiratory exposure to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, dermal or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema and coma. Acute exposure to high levels of the glycol ethers in humans results in narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. Chronic exposure to the glycol ethers in humans results in fatigue, lethargy, nausea, anorexia, tremor, and anemia. 2-Butoxyethanol has come under scrutiny in Canada.

EC6110A Anti-Bacterial Agent Glutaraldehyde 111-30-8
   

The following health effects have been reported in hospital workers exposed to glutaraldehyde: Throat and lung irritation; Asthma, asthma-like symptoms, and breathing difficulty; Nose irritation, sneezing, and wheezing; Nosebleed; Burning eyes and conjunctivitis; Rash-contact and/or allergic dermatitis; Staining of the hands (brownish or tan); Hives; Headaches and Nausea.

    Quaternary Ammonium Compounds N/A
   

Quaternary ammonium compounds can display a range of health effects, amongst which are mild skin and respiratory irritation up to severe caustic burns on skin and gastro-intestinal lining (depending on concentration), gastro-intestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), coma, convulsions, hypotension and death.

    Ethanol 64-17-5
EC6629 Scale Inhibitor *No hazardous components* *None*
WFR-61LA Friction Reducer Petroleum Distillate Hydrotreated Light 64742-47-8
   

Distillates (Petroleum), Hydrotreated Light can cause dizziness, headache, drowsiness, nausea, unconsciousness from inhalation; and cough, diarrhea, sore throat, and vomiting from ingestion. Swallowing the liquid may cause aspiration into the lungs with the risk of chemical pneumonitis. NIOSH states that it is harmful to aquatic organisms. The substance may cause effects on the central nervous system.

    Sodium Chloride 7647-14-5
    Alcohols ethoxylated
C12-16
68551-12-2
    Quarternary Ammonium Chloride 12125-02-9
   

Quaternary ammonium compounds can display a range of health effects, amongst which are mild skin and respiratory irritation up to severe caustic burns on skin and gastro-intestinal lining (depending on concentration), gastro-intestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), coma, convulsions, hypotension and death.

WGA-15L Gelling Agent Petroleum Distillate Hydrotreated Light 64742-47-8
   

Distillates (Petroleum), Hydrotreated Light can cause dizziness, headache, drowsiness, nausea, unconsciousness from inhalation; and cough, diarrhea, sore throat, and vomiting from ingestion. Swallowing the liquid may cause aspiration into the lungs with the risk of chemical pneumonitis. NIOSH states that it is harmful to aquatic organisms. The substance may cause effects on the central nervous system.

    *Proprietary* Polymer *N/A*
WBK-134 Breaker Ammonium Persulfate 7727-54-0
   

Ammonium Persulfate airborne dust may be irritating to eyes, nose, lungs, throat and skin upon contact. Exposure to high levels of dust may cause difficulty in breathing in sensitive persons. This product has moderate oral toxicity and sensitive persons may develop dermatitis and asthma.

Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations
 

 
 
Truckload of hydrochloric acid to be used in fracking
Hydrochloric Acid
Hazmat placard 1789
 
 
Sand kings used for handling frac sand on a well pad
'Sand Kings' at a frack site (video tour)
 
 
Frac'ing
 Fracking shale wells
Southwest of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania
 
 
Fracking Beaver County
 
 
 
 
frac sand
Frac sand resembles sandbox sand, yet it is chosen for its
special qualities to act as a 'proppant' to hold open the
fractures in the shale so Marcellus gas can escape
 
 
Fracking operation
Rural fracking site
 
 
Trucks and pumps assembled for fracking
White pipes bring fluids to the frac site,
frac sand trucks at top left of photo
 
 
One of the high pressure pumps linked to others in order to create high pressure to crack shale
One of the pumps used in series to create
extreme shale cracking pressures
 
 
frac tanks
Frac tanks lined-up on edge of drilling pad
 
 
Hydraulic fracturing in progress
Pumps, fluid containers and the typical dust
that rises from frac sites
 
 
Frac operation
Multiple gas wells being fracked
 
 
Fluid trailers lined up in a row
Fluid trailers lined-up in a row
 
 
What some of the "one-half of one percent"
actually looks like
 
 

Mum's the word!
10,000 times in 20 months!

"Of 12,410 instances of hydraulic fracturing in Texas between April 2011 and early December 2012, companies used terms such as “proprietary,” “secret” or “confidential” 10,120 times while reporting data on the FracFocus.org website, according to data collected through early December by the Houston-based Pivot Upstream Group and analyzed by the San Antonio Express-News."
FuelFix.com blog 2-3-13

 
 
Fracking in the panhandle of West Virginia
 
 
FRAC CHEMICALS
White cubes on truck trailers hold frac chemicals
 
 
Evans City
 
 
LINKS

Critics Find Gaps in State Laws to Disclose Hydrofracking Chemicals New!
The FRAC Act
Energy Policy Act of 2005

 
  

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