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Author Topic: Study Finds Shale Gas is not as Clean as Thought Back to Topics
mastermariner

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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:23:26 AM

Last February scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado, released the findings of a study that claimed that around four percent of methane was escaping into the atmosphere as natural gas was being extracted from a field in Denver.

Now that same group has studied the gas production techniques of a field in Utah and discovered that around nine percent of the methane gas extracted at the gas field was leaking into the air. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, far more so than CO2, and its escape during the production process of the natural gas now challenges the claims that burning natural gas produces far fewer emissions and is better for the environment than coal.

The shale boom has led to a huge increase in nat
Visit Oil Price for full article
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 21, 2013 12:33:55 AM

DrPepper - Thank you, I did find the 10259 Gg; your additional information made it possible to find. Sometimes with large docs, I quickly perused for info; utilize electronic pdf search, which for whatever reason the 10259 remained hidden.
1. All I was asking for, was additional info, to find, what you were referring to; name of doc, pg, para etc, so your ref. is easier to find. I don't believe, I was calling you out, never once stated you were lying!
It is not my intention to be verbally pugilistic; My stance is that 10259 Gg (10259 X 1000 kilo tons) is far too much, needless fugitive hydrocarbon gas, entering into the atmosphere. Your entitled to your opinion likewise, however I firmly believe, your view, to be fallible. You fail to mention the next line; "Thus under a goal of GHG reduction it is clear that increased efforts must be made to reduce fugitive losses from this system."
I would then suggest, when I stated "a lot", I believe, I am vindicated by the very article you referenced; by the above quoted line! It would then seem, that my conclusion, is not the immaterial viewpoint; yet your entitled to your stance!
2. "Oil Price"; I have never quote this biased source; Oilprice is usually a source quoted by the side that purport oil fracking; not sure why your telling me this, as we were discussing, our references and not the article quote by Mr. mastermariner; hopefully you have not confused me with the article poster. I have reiterated to you, on many occasions, that I only entertain data from bona fide institutions, ie. Univ. or gov't agencies or reputable sources!
My info, I was referring to, was the NOAA study with the Univ of Colo, re: Weld county within the Front range!
You are embattled with many here on GB, re: fracking; hopefully you are not confused, as to whom your discussing a particular thread with!
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 19, 2013 11:11:17 PM

By the way Cdnlynx, Oil Price is a highly biased outfit, one of those you decry posters using on Gas Buddy.
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 19, 2013 11:08:52 PM

Cdnlynx, yes. it is in the MIT study I posted below.

Quote:

"4. Conclusions
Taking actual field practice into account, we estimate that in 2010 the total fugitive GHG emissions from US shale gas-related hydraulic fracturing amounted to 216 Gg CH4. This represents 3.6% of the estimated 6002 Gg CH4 of fugitive emissions from all natural gas production-related sources in that year (EPA 2012a, 2012b). The entire natural gas value chain is estimated to have produced 10 259 Gg CH4 of fugitive emissions in 2010, or about 3.1% of the nation’s total GHG inventory (EPA 2012a, 2012b)."

Don't call me out on something you fail to read when right before your eyes.

Your 'opinion' of a "lot" is immaterial to the discussion, never the less you are entitled to your opinion.
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 10:53:22 PM

This particular thread, brought up by mastermariner, was about the the 4% of methane/natural gas escaping into the upper atmosphere over Weld county Colo (Front range).
You earlier, linked two pdf docs; (a) IOP science org and (b) Natural Gas and the Transformation of the U.S. Energy Sector: Electricity!
Your quote of "10,259 Gg" from the Natural Gas Value Chain, was not to be found in either of the two docs you mentioned previously.
Don't condemn me, with accusations of only seeing what I want to see; quote (link) the proper article! I searched both pdf docs and the internet re: entire natural gas value chain, and there were many results; keeping in mind I will only entertain bona fide gov't and/or proper research org, that are not aligned with either pro or anti fracking.
Mastermariner was discussing ch4 release from Front range/Weld county Colo, that what was/is being discussed.
I have always been a supporter of NG energy over coal, as it has always been far cleaner. That not what is being discussed. We were discussing ch4 released into the atmosphere.
Have you actually extrapolated the figures from your 10,259 Gg; when only 1 Gg equates to 1000 kilo tons. Personally I find that to be a lot, particularly if its the total only for the U.S! Multiply that worldwide and if that is the 15% that is vented then it is still too much!
Your IOP Science article pg#2 Abstract, mentioned the following; "Data from each of the approximately 4000 horizontal shale gas wells brought online that year are used to show that about 900 Gg CH4 of potential fugitive emissions were generated by these operations, or 228 Mg CH4 per well—a figure inappropriately used in analyses of the GHG impact of shale gas. In fact, along with simply venting gas produced during the completion of shale gas wells, two additional techniques are widely used to handle these potential emissions: gas flaring and reduced emission ‘green’ completions. The use of flaring and reduced emission completions reduce the
levels of actual fugitive emissions from shale well completion operations to about 216 Gg CH4, or 50 Mg CH4 per well, a release substantially lower than several widely quoted estimates. Although fugitive emissions from the overall natural gas sector are a proper concern, it is incorrect to suggest that shale gas-related hydraulic fracturing has substantially
altered the overall GHG intensity of natural gas production."
I gave you 4 responses and you come back at me and stated I only see what I want to see, I saw your 10,259 and responded; see my first response posted Jan 15, 2013 1:01:42 AM and think about what I posted there and the other entries after!
Remember I want clean energy, but not at the needless expense of the environment; that I feel some are willing to sacrifice to very detriment of this planet!
Regarding govt agencies; overall I believe they have the best interest of America in both their heart and mandate, I believe they do their level best and overall their findings are probably correct; now in saying that they may have the odd bad apple that have nefarious intentions but the organization on whole should not be "thrown out with the bath water"! Keep in mind no group or entity are perfect!




[Edited by: CdnLynx at 1/15/2013 10:58:50 PM EST]
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 9:25:08 AM

Cdnlynx, you can't find "the entire natural gas value chain is estimated to have produced 10 259 Gg CH4 of fugitive emissions in 2010, or about 3.1% of the nation’s total GHG emmissions"?

Please read the report, and not just see the results you want to see.

Go back and look at page 5, paragraph 4 (conclusions).

Even the extremely leftist Environmental Defense Fund says that if the gas industry keeps their total level under 3.2% that NG production is much more environmentally clean than coal.

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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 2:34:28 AM

Accidentally left out the pdf doc link re: Colo Weld county

(2008 min/max Gg for Weld county Colo) Front Range - Pg # 43 of 81; line line 955 thru to 957!
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 1:39:27 AM

When fracking started in 1947, it was only the vertical; horizontal started in the Barnett shale in 1998; the needless release of hydrocarbon gases into our atmospheres is a serious problem that needs to be resolved. Gas releases into the atmosphere must be correlated to the horizontal procedures!
CarOrphanGuyPEI gave a great description of the problem on another topic here earlier the other day!
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 1:27:22 AM

I would like to add re: USGS report on NON-water contamination in Fayettville Arkansas. I do welcome this report and fervently hope that there is no water contamination there and other parts of the world. It remains to be seen if this optimism will continue for the same results in future.
This particular article was the high levels of hydrocarbons released into the upper atmosphere, (greenhouse gases). There is far too much natural gas (including methane, no point in try to differentiate the hydrocarbon gases). Not capturing most of hydrocarbon gases is a waste and the negative effect on the atmosphere should not be permitted.
P.S - Observation!
It is also curious, that many of the GB supporters of fracing have now embraced the USGS upon hearing the Arkansas report of NON water contamination. U.S govt dept's (NOAA, EPA, USGS and U.S fish & wildlife) have always been supportive in protecting their people and subsequently their gov't, and indirectly the world. When people hear the news of their protective depts; hopefully they will support them as opposed to figuratively shooting the U.S govt messenger!

[Edited by: CdnLynx at 1/15/2013 1:28:27 AM EST]
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 1:01:42 AM

I was commenting on 15% vented and 15% flared; now I have not found your "natural gas value chain estimated total of 10,259 Gg of ch4.
Thats a lot, when you consider that 1Gg = 1 Kilo-tonne or (2.2046 million pounds). Now if you multiply that by your referenced calculation of 10,259 thats a lot!
Dictionary units of measurements - Univ of NC (Chapel Hill)

There is another pdf doc (2008 min/max Gg for Weld county Colo) Pg # 43 of 81; line line 955 thru to 957!
quote as follows - "The three top-down emission scenarios for oil and gas operations in Weld County in 2008 give a rather large range of potential emissions for CH4 (71.6-251.9 Gg/yr) and the higher alkanes." This is from only one county in Colo! This figure is not good and is considerably less then your figure of 10259 Gg.

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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 7:35:51 AM

"Not sure what the semantics of either "goal" or "hydraulic fracturing" really matters as the problem lies with the pollution."
========================
It's not semantics. When "the entire natural gas value chain is estimated to have produced 10 259 Gg CH4
of fugitive emissions in 2010, or about 3.1% of the nation’s total GHG emmissions" one must ask what is the "goal" and why?

Hydro-fracturing is responsible for most of the shale gas production as well, this is simply another attempt at slowing production. Those who wish to stop it are frustrated at every turn as studies keep coming out to refute the 'environmentalist' claims. The USGS report of zero water contamination in Arkansas is but one of the latest examples.
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 12, 2013 12:47:47 AM

total fugitive GHG emissions from US shale
gas-related hydraulic fracturing amounted to 216 Gg CH4.
This represents 3.6% of the estimated 6002 Gg CH4 of
fugitive emissions from all natural gas production-related
sources in that year (EPA 2012a, 2012b). The entire natural
gas value chain is estimated to have produced 10 259 Gg CH4
of fugitive emissions in 2010, or about 3.1% of the nation’s
total GHG inventory (EPA 2012a, 2012b). Thus under a
goal of GHG reduction it is clear that increased efforts
must be made to reduce fugitive losses from this system.
However, it is also clear is that the production of shale gas
and specifically, the associated hydraulic fracturing operations
have not materially altered the total GHG emissions from
the natural gas sector. Furthermore, for the vast majority of
contemporary shale gas wells, the revenues gained from using
reduced emissions completions to capture the gas produced
during a typical flowback cover the cost of executing such
completions.
Battle of symantics; It was also stated in the Conclusions "Thus under a
goal of GHG reduction it is clear that increased efforts
must be made to reduce fugitive losses from this system"
I also must reiterate from the article "However, our main estimate of actual fugitive emissions is based on a ‘current field practice’
gas handling scenario, where 70% of potential fugitives are
captured, 15% vented, and 15% flared."
The production of electricity is immaterial when it comes to burning hydrocarbons; the problem lies with the hydrocarbons whether they are burnt or not and the pollution caused by either from the burning or NOT burning.
Burning of ch4 (Methane) is far less polluting then burning coal as coal leaves far more heavier then air particulates in the air and downwind onto the surface. Methane at 15% vented within this particular field of operations (Colo) is still a significant problem; world wide it maybe even Higher with ever less flaring. Methane not burnt off, has disastrous cumulative effect upon the upper atmosphere and global warming. Not sure what the semantics of either "goal" or "hydraulic fracturing" really matters as the problem lies with the pollution. When searching for natural gas; it is imperative that all (or as much as they can) capture the gas, it is imperative; letting it escape, is not energy or environmentally productive. I am not really addressing the hydraulic fracturing; the discussion issue here, is the venting of ch4 vice the flaring; it would be beneficial, that ch4 was captured, opposed to allowing the fugitive release!

[Edited by: CdnLynx at 1/12/2013 12:50:12 AM EST]
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 11, 2013 1:21:02 PM

I find it interesting that you choose that part of the MIT study without mentioning the conclusion: "Thus under a
goal of GHG reduction it is clear that increased efforts
must be made to reduce fugitive losses from this system.
However, it is also clear is that the production of shale gas
and specifically, the associated hydraulic fracturing operations
have not materially altered the total GHG emissions from
the natural gas sector."

1. Key word "goal"
2. Key words "hydraulic fracturing operations
have not materially altered the total GHG emissions..."
3. The MIT study completely refutes the "claims that burning natural gas produces far fewer emissions and is better for the environment than coal." as stated in the story.
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 12:51:57 AM

i quickly read the IOP science article re: MIT paper!
One thing that I noted was page 4, where people in the oil/gas industry stated that in order to prevent public attention allowed the venting of natural gas/methane into the atmosphere as opposed to flaring (burning off).
Burning natural gas is far cleaner and more efficient with less pollution, then coal. The problem lies with the vast amounts of natural gas and allowing it to vent (escape) into the upper atmosphere, this is where the problem with natural gas lies. Bottom of pg 5
"However, our main estimate of actual fugitive emissions is based on a ‘current field practice’
gas handling scenario, where 70% of potential fugitives are
captured, 15% vented, and 15% flared. This we believe is a
reasonable representation of current gas handling practices
in the major shale plays (EPA 2012b)"
Coal is a problem when burned with all the solid particulates that are in the air and it does release co2 in the atmosphere. Natural gas vented at 15% in N. America; it very well good be far worse in other producing areas of the world. This amount of natural gas vented into the upper atmosphere is where the problem lies with global warming!

[Edited by: CdnLynx at 1/10/2013 12:55:17 AM EST]
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2013 5:52:29 PM

Cdnlynx, let's look a little closer at this false claim from the story "Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, far more so than CO2, and its escape during the production process of the natural gas now challenges the claims that burning natural gas produces far fewer emissions and is better for the environment than coal."

This has already been debunked by not one but two recent studies.

1. MIT study



2. National Renewable Energy Laboratoryconcluded that lifecycle emissions associated with Barnett Shale gas used for power generation were “very similar to [those from] conventional natural gas and less than half those of coal-fired electricity generation.”
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2013 9:11:36 AM

Cdnlynx, please read carefully, I never questioned the links. nsdp posted what he claimed was his attorney Bar number a few weeks back, it was invalid.

But back to this article discussion, Dr. Levi IS vastly more qualified than nsdp on the issue CO2 and methane emmissions.

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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 9, 2013 12:37:51 AM

Drpepper - Lets not quibble over the nomenclature of the listing of a bona fide article.
Sir, you are very adapt at using the internet to find articles, so plse do not try to use smoke and mirrors to cloud the issue.
The article re: the validity of the expert testimony is definitely accurate; as per the following

U.S Supreme Court Center - Justia.com

Cornell Univ Law School - Legal Information Institute

Sir, there are other pdf.docs from both mercer univ and Univ of Indiana Law!

Sir, plse do not muddy the waters; the docs are valid!
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 9:25:57 AM

Ahem, cdnlynx, Supreme Court cases are not filed by bar number. Bar numbers are attorney registration numbers for the state in which they are registered.
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 12:42:18 AM

Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 US 137 - Supreme Court 1999

This is a real case! It is not a fake bar number as insinuated!

[Edited by: CdnLynx at 1/8/2013 12:44:34 AM EST]
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remay
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 6:54:10 AM

Figure it out, and deliver it
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 1:03:56 AM

I can't even give your efforts a "nice try" nsdp. Cliff Clavin would be so proud. You really should follow your own advice and quit believing everything you post on the Internet LOL! You speak of credibility? Really? You have posted much of anything credible to back up your claims, including the fake bar number you posted.

The truth shall set you free! ;^)
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LetemEatCake
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 10:29:19 PM


LMAO...sorry Pop but this is just too funny! Again nicely said Nsdp!
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nsdp
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 6:32:16 PM

DRPEPPER Obviously you do not know the standards for an expert. Read Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 . Mr. Levi qualifies as a technician not an expert. He has no qualifications in the area of actual performance of the field sampling and he has never performed that work in the field. The fact he is very smart and says what you like doesn't make him an expert. His work belongs int eh pile of junk science. You would never be able to use him as an expert in this area of air sampling methodology.

When are you going to apologize to the Coast Guard for you accusation of causing the Kulluk disaster by delaying permits. Very obvious that Shell decided to move the vessel to avoid paying state property taxes. Right now your credibility is 0,nada, non, nicht.

[Edited by: nsdp at 1/6/2013 6:37:37 PM EST]
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 11:09:21 AM

LOL, looks like a little presentation of the facts from Dr. Micheal Levi His extensive scientific background can be found here and nsdp's Cliff Clavin comes out again!
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MN1
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 1:25:25 AM

Nothing compared to when the permafrost starts thawing in the Arctic.
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CdnLynx
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 12:50:14 AM

"The Truth Shall set you free"
Another idiom may be!
The truth is, if some people or groups, are eventually found to be criminal or at best to be irresponsible, in regards to the pollution of the environment; they may eventually be incarcerated.
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nsdp
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 11:49:41 PM

DrPepper you obviously have never worked a day in the field around producing wells. If you go back through the safety records of the various states you will find records of wells that have caught fire. Now the minimum concentration of NG to air that will burn is 5% NG or 1:20. Since there are several hundred reported incidents each year there is no doubt that wells and fields are improperly completed. Wells subject to Rule 30 in Texas are limited to no more than 0.08% leakage. Above that level you can kill people with H2S. So Mr Levi's assumptions in his paper are not matched in the real world.

Where he is correct is that his levels ARE should be what is observed IF the well were properly completed. Every well fire or blow out means someone didn't do their work right. So in that context Mr Levi is wrong in his assumptiuons. Well fires and blowouts happen sometimes spectacularly. That is why Boots and Coots and Red Adair made their money.

Next time use someone who is more than a pencil pusher at a desk with no real world experience in the oil fields. As a Math Science major from Rice I can see at least two mistakes he made in his fundamental assumptions that are not supported by any evidence. I am a retired Certified Fraud Examiner and it pretty obvious from Benfords law that his results are somewhat skewed. Next time get a juried piece not an opinion piece if you want to rebut something. This guy doesn't meet the Daubert test as an expert on this issue.
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LetemEatCake
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 11:26:12 PM


Bears repeating from NH...."This is not a matter of what nonsense some fools here may believe. The facts are that many companies in this industry should be doing a much better job at what they supposedly do best. Unfortunately, their best just has not been good enough. There is no excuse for allowing so much dangerous and hazardous methane, not CO2 bozos, too escape into our atmosphere. The unbelievers here may have no faith in NOAA, a very technical and professional govt. agency, but the University of Collorada, esp. their School of Mining, is a preeminent expert that the industry does rely on and utilize!"

Despite Pops contention that everyone is wrong or lying except him.
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 9:36:08 PM

Sorry about that, 2012...
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drpepperTX
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 9:21:56 PM

Sorry Cakeeater and nsdp, the report is likely flawed just like the earlier reports from methane releases in Colorado.

In October of 2022, Michael Levi's paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research found NOAA’s methane leakage estimates to be “unsupportable” based on what he terms the “wrong interpretation” of the data. NOAA famously — or perhaps infamously — claimed leakage was as high as 7.7 percent, with an average of about four percent. Levi, however, finds the rate to be a fraction of that: one to two percent, which is in line with what other credible studies have found. Among NOAA’s errors of analysis, according to Levi, is that “Colorado has imposed tough rules on methane emissions since the NOAA data was collected in 2008"

The truth shall set you free!
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nsdp
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 8:50:44 PM

Van Halen if CO2 and methane aren't greenhouse gases you and I wouldn't exist. Those two were responsible for the Permian Extinction about 250 million years ago. That allowed the first mammals to evolve. No mammals no you no me. If you don't know geology that well, maybe you should limit your posts to fields you know something about what ever that is. Geology, chemistry and physics are not your long suits. Here you might learn something . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event
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TC5504
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 4:18:00 PM

Can not always believe what you read...
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NHLiveFree
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 2:28:35 PM


This is not a matter of what nonsense some fools here may believe. The facts are that many companies in this industry should be doing a much better job at what they supposedly do best. Unfortunately, their best just has not been good enough. There is no excuse for allowing so much dangerous and hazardous methane, not CO2 bozos, too escape into our atmosphere. The unbelievers here may have no faith in NOAA, a very technical and professional govt. agency, but the University of Collorada, esp. their School of Mining, is a preeminent expert that the industry does rely on and utilize!
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NHLiveFree
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 2:17:24 PM


No surprise at all. Let's now see all the denial, misinfo, and spin the drilling and gas industry put on these real facts!
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dodsworth
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 1:46:04 PM

Methane is dangerous stuff. Yeah, let's allow people who have not shown themselves to be trustworthy play with it. Yikes.
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Hemi3tc
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 1:35:39 PM

Too much CO2 is the problem. It cause the acidity of the ocean to rise killing off the coral reefs and the shelf fish.
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leemun
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 1:22:33 PM

Environazi propaganda. Any excuse to stand in the way of economic development. I heartily agree with Van Halen. Also, with the extinction of the dinosaurs by whatever natural disaster, the CO2 content of the atmosphere was drastically reduced, and the result was much sparser life on earth. It's in the geologic record.
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Van_Halen
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 12:52:35 PM

.
CO2 is NOT a Greenhouse Gas nor a pollutant! This is a FACT! Everybody on this planet would die without CO2 which has been steady at less then half a percent of the Atmosphere for over 5000 Years. So just exactly how is it a greenhouse gas when its level has not increased even slightly in the last 5000 years?!
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nsdp
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 12:52:14 PM

This is a function of poor quality workmanship in completion and/or management cutting corners on costs. We know from the production of gas with hydrogen sulfide that leakage can be prevented by proper completion techniques. All a matter of following API standards.
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cmgodwin
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 11:45:04 AM

Can't say there's any surprise here
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evowner
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:57:33 AM

On second thought, since the oil companies will claim there is no methane leakage, mandate the oil companies build a manned business office over every wellhead to prove it.
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kkimes
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:51:57 AM

I hate to say 'I told you so', but .....
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evowner
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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:41:31 AM

Methane gas.....A little something never brought up. I'm sure the oil companies will act responsibly like they have in the past with spills. Only if caught and only if they are mandated to pay for the damages. Just government regulations that increase their operating cost.
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Buckeyee
Champion Author Maine

Posts:6,567
Points:1,205,030
Joined:May 2010
Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:37:15 AM

Can't it be burned off ??
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md11capt
Champion Author Denver

Posts:4,109
Points:983,700
Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:36:03 AM

Modify a weed that strips methane and CO2 from the atmosphere.
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humblepie
Champion Author Toledo

Posts:48,688
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Joined:Mar 2006
Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:28:59 AM

we cant have it both ways, true or false ?
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fjkcpa
Champion Author Houston

Posts:7,432
Points:932,190
Joined:Nov 2005
Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 10:28:04 AM

Really!?
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