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Hydraulic Fracturing Current Events

Unit Trains of Frac Sand
April 24, 2014 | Bloomberg

Producers of high purity silica sand used to ship a few cars of sand at a time to glass makers. Now they are loading unit trains of sand going to oil field service companies.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Fracking for Oil in New Mexico
April 23, 2014 |

Although production levels are low compared to other states, an small oil and gas boom is underway in New Mexico.

Challenges of the Monterey Shale
April 22, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

Although the Monterey Shale contains vast amounts of oil the cost of leasing is very high, much of the oil is very deep and a new approach at fracking might be needed to liberate the oil.

Real Estate Prices Near Fracking
April 17, 2014 | Forbes

Researchers at the University of Calgary and Duke University found that homes within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well on a private water supply fell by over 20 percent in value compared to those on public water supplies. This loss can offset gains made through mineral rights sales.

Related: What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

What is Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?
April 10, 2014 | ThinkProgress

During 2013 the state of Oklahoma experienced 109 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or higher. Already this year the state has equaled that number. Some people blame wastewater injection.

The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas is also experiencing a number of earthquakes.

South Dakota Sand and Fracking Specs
April 10, 2014 |

The South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources conducted a study on 256 sand samples collected from the western part of the state to determine if they could be developed as frac sand sources for use in wells that use hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota’s Bakken formation.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Rising Oil Production in New Mexico
April 1, 2014 | Lite Geology

The most recent issue of Lite Geology from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources reports on how new drilling technologies are rapidly increasing the amount of oil produced in the state.

Drilling Productivity in Shale Plays
March 25, 2014 | Energy Information Administration

“The productivity of oil and natural gas wells is steadily increasing in many basins across the United States because of the increasing precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in oil and natural gas extraction.”

Green Fracking?
March 23, 2014 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article titled: “Green Fracking? 5 Technologies for Cleaner Shale Energy”. It explains five methods that are being employed to reduce the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

65 Years of Fracking
March 23, 2014 |

Most people think that hydraulic fracturing is a recently-invented technology. However, it has been around for 65 years. CNBC has an article about it.

Frac Sand Production Keeps Rising
March 23, 2014 |

An estimated 32 million tons of frac sand was produced by United States quarries during 2013. That is over a 300% increase in production over the 2009 tonnage. Frac sand is used as a proppant in the hydraulic fracturing process used to increase the production of oil and gas wells drilled in shale and other tight formations.

Earthquakes Cause ODNR to Halt Drilling
March 16, 2014 | Columbus Dispatch

On Monday, March 10th two small earthquakes in eastern Ohio (M2.6 and M3.0) prompted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to halt operations at seven nearby gas wells. Industry responded that hundreds of wells have been drilled in the Utica Shale using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling without incident.

Related: Utica Shale well density

Tapping the Utica ahd the Marcellus from a Single Drill Pad?
March 11, 2014 | BizJournals

A company in Ohio plans to drill wells into both the Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale from a single drill pad in Ohio. The expect dry gas production from the deeper Utica and liquids production from the Marcellus.

Related: Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale.

The Shale Boom is Just Starting
March 2, 2014 | Denver BizJournal

Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips believes that the “shale boom” in the United States is just getting started, with several decades ahead.

Fracking in the George Washington National Forest?
January 30, 2014 | Los Angeles Times

An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that many people are concerned about the Forest Service’s plans to allow fracking for natural gas in the George Washington National Forest.

How to Get Local Support for Fracking?
January 26, 2014 | American Chemical Society

In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron wants to win local governments over to hydraulic fracturing. To do that he wants to permit “local governments to keep 100% of the business taxes, some $3 million annually, generated from each well drilled.” Quote from the Chemical & Engineering News.

New York Energy Plan Silent on Hydraulic Fracturing
January 12, 2014 |

Although New York’s state government calls for an expanded use of natural gas for clean energy reasons, it does not address hydraulic fracturing – the currently banned process that could greatly accelerate gas production in the state.

Horizontal Well Density in the Utica Shale of Ohio
January 1, 2014 |

We plotted a Google map showing the horizontal legs for Utica Shale wells drilled in eastern Ohio before late November 2013 and were really surprised by the geographic pattern and density of drilling in some areas.

How Do They Steer the Horizontal Drill?
December 26, 2013 | USGS

USGS has an interesting release (linking to an Oilfield Review article) that provides some insight on how drillers are able to steer a horizontal well. These wells can travel horizontally for two miles or more and they must stay in the formation and not drift laterally. The technology employed might surprise you.

Drilling Efficiency in the Marcellus Shale
December 22, 2013 | The Scranton Times-Tribune

The Scranton Times-Tribune has an article in which an experienced driller describes how efficiency improvements have cut the amount of time required to drill a horizontal well.

Colorado Voters Ban Fracking and Industry Responds
December 5, 2013 | Bloomberg

The cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette, Colorado asked voters if they wanted to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas within the city jurisdiction. The votes resulted in bans, now the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is trying to get the bans overturned.

The Frac Sand Boom
December 3, 2013 | Peak Oil News

The demand for frac sand has been growing rapidly for the past several years as oil and natural gas companies are using it for hydraulic fracturing in shale formations.

Related: What is Frac Sand?

Recycling Hydraulic Fracturing Water
November 13, 2013 |

The Texas drought caused many drillers to reevaluate their sources of water. Many of them are now processing their water to remove dissolved and suspended materials and reusing it to fracture their next well.

Natural Gas Flaring from Space
October 30, 2013 |

We have posted views of Earth from NASA’s Suomi satellite that show night illumination and natural gas flaring for oil industry sites in the Bakken Formation, Eagle Ford Shale, Alaska North Slope, United States Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Venezuela Orinoco Field, Brazil offshore basins, North Sea, North Africa onshore, west Africa offshore, and Persian Gulf.

Frac Sand
October 29, 2013 |

Frac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing by the oil and gas industry.

Stacked Pay Zones in the Eagle Ford Oil Play
September 25, 2013 |

Texas drillers are having great success tapping the rock units above and below the Eagle Ford Shale.

Horizontal drilling through the Buda Lime and Austin Chalk with hydraulic fracturing has brought in wells yielding over 1000 barrels of oil per day.

The stacked production zones in a single location provide enormous economic savings. Oil can be produced from multiple rock units using the same drill pad, access roads and oil collection systems.

Methane Losses During Hydraulic Fracturing
September 18, 2013 | New York Times

“Drilling for shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, appears to cause smaller leaks of the greenhouse gas methane than the federal government had estimated, and considerably smaller than some critics of shale gas had feared.” Quoted from the New York Times article.

Impact of Shale Plays on the US Economy
September 11, 2013 |

A BizJournals interview with Rayola Dougher, senior economic advisor at the American Petroleum Institute, explores the impact of United States shale plays on the US economy, the transportation industry, the price of oil and more.

Related: What is Shale Gas?

Fracking Does Not Cause Earthquakes
September 10, 2013 |

Human activity associated with natural gas production has been shown to cause earthquakes, an example is the disposal of waste liquids in high volume injection wells. So far there has not been a connection between human-induced earthquakes and the hydraulic fracturing process – yet many people make that association.

Related: What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

US Oil Production Highest Since the 1980s
September 6, 2013 | FuelFix

Hydraulic fracturing in new shale plays has pushed United States oil production to its highest levels since the 1980s.

If natural gas liquids, lease condensate and other liquids are added, current numbers are even more impressive when compared to the past. (See chart below)

Related: Oil Production from the Eagle Ford Shale

Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan
September 6, 2013 | University of Michigan

University of Michigan researchers today released seven technical reports that together form the most comprehensive Michigan-focused resource on hydraulic fracturing.

Related: What is Hydraulic Fracturing?

Massachusetts Shale Gas?
August 29, 2013 | Massachusetts Geological Survey

Although Massachusetts is not expected to be a state where shales yield oil and natural gas the Massachusetts Geological Survey has posted “Frequently Asked Questions About Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing in Massachusetts“. It seems that some Massachusetts residents got excited after seeing the Hartford Basin on USGS Fact Sheet 2013-3075.

Small Earthquakes in the Eagle Ford Play
August 29, 2013 | Jackson School of Geosciences

“Most of the small earthquakes in the Eagle Ford region of South Texas are probably the result of extraction of large volumes of oil and associated water. [...] The Eagle Ford area contrasts sharply with the Barnett Shale region of North Texas, where [...] most small earthquakes were probably triggered by the injection of large volumes of waste water from hydraulic fracturing.” Quoted from the Jackson School of Geosciences press release.

Related: What is the Eagle Ford Shale?

Acidizing the Monterey Shale?
August 29, 2013 |

The practice of using strong acids to stimulate production from oil and natural gas wells has been used for decades. It is currently being explored as a method for stimulating wells in California’s Monterey Shale, which could contain over 15 billion barrels of oil.

The Future of Shale Gas
August 7, 2013 | Energy Information Administration

“The availability of large quantities of shale gas should enable the United States to consume a predominantly domestic supply of gas for many years and produce more natural gas than it consumes.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration press release.

Highest Turnover Rate Companies
August 1, 2013 | Slate

Slate has a report listing the 20 large United States companies with the highest turnover rates. Many of them are tech companies (that surprisingly includes Google at #3. A few oil and gas companies are on the list.

George Mitchel
July 28, 2013 | Jackson School of Geoscience on

We normally do not report obituaries. George Mitchel, pioneer of producing natural gas and oil from tight shale formations passed away at the age of 94. Here is an article about his work from 2008 by Marc Airhart, Jackson School of Geosciences.

Arizona Shale Targets
July 16, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey

“Innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have dramatically increased oil and gas production from previously marginal shale-oil and shale-gas deposits leading to renewed interest in the potential for shale-oil and shale-gas exploration in Arizona.” Quoted from the Arizona Geological Survey press release.

Natural Gas Under the Pittsburgh Airport
July 8, 2013 | Shale Reporter

The Allegheny County Airport Authority leased 9000 acres of Marcellus Shale drilling rights to Consol Energy. Longer lateral drilling may yield more than the $500 million in expected royalties.

Frac Sand Production Triples
July 7, 2013 |

Between 2009 and 2012 the amount of sand produced for hydraulic fracturing in the United States tripled. The average 2012 price was $54.83. Most production is done in the mid-west where the sand grains have not been damaged by tectonic forces.

Methane Sources in Pennsylvania Ground Water
June 25, 2013 | National Ground Water Association

“The findings of a new study in the journal Groundwater®​ suggest that methane concentrations in Susquehanna County water wells in Pennsylvania can be explained without the migration of Marcellus shale gas due to hydraulic fracturing.” Quoted from the publication press release.

Mancos Shale Hydrocarbon Potential in Arizona
June 11, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey

“In this report we briefly review the geology of the Mancos Shale in Arizona and consider its potential to yield hydrocarbons with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.” Quoted from the Arizona Geological Survey document repository.

Comments on the Mancos Shale in AZ and NM in the Arizona Geology blog.

Testing Water Wells Near Natural Gas Wells
May 1, 2013 | National Ground Water Association

The National Ground Water Association has published an information guide for people who have private water supply wells located near oil and natural gas drilling. They explain the types of water quality concerns that might be present and explain the options of water well testing.

Who Can Frack in France?
April 9, 2013 | Bloomberg Business News

The oil and gas industry in France is disappointed that the government banned hydraulic fracturing while the geothermal industry is allowed to use acid fracking to develop their wells.

How to Attract Shale Drillers to North Carolina?
February 26, 2013 |

“The legislation would provide a menu of sweeteners for energy companies to encourage developers to pick North Carolina for shale gas exploration over other states that have a history of energy exploration and known energy reserves.” Quote from the article.

Ohio: Sources of Water for Hydraulic Fracturing
January 18, 2013 | Ohio Department of Natural Resources

This Ohio Department of Natural Resources document summarizes the potential sources of water for hydraulic fracturing in the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale of eastern Ohio. Also included are basic regulations and the contact/regulatory authority for each water source.

Apache Powers Fracking with Natural Gas
January 11, 2013 |

Apache Corporation reports that they expect to cut fuel costs by 40% and favor domestic energy as they use natural gas to power their hydraulic fracturing equipment.

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