Tags
Recent Comments
Receive "The World According to Tom Barnett" Brief
Where I Work
Where I write
Buy Tom's Books
  • Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
Search the Site
Subscribe to Blog
Monthly Archives
Powered by Squarespace
« Getting Arctic hydrocarbons will be a lot harder than anticipated | Main | The micro-corollary of sovereign land sales: wooing foreigners to unsold properties »
12:01AM

Fracking confronts the reality of limited water resources

WSJ piece noting that all this hydralic fracturing (fracking) is coming up against local water limits.  Already, US fracking uses water on par with the city of Chicago or Houston.

So the industry jumps into figuring out how to reuse the water multiple times by cleaning it up (not enough for drinking but enough to reuse).  Already in PA the percentage use of recycled water is up to 17% this year, jumping from 13% last year.

This is a huge issue, because we're looking at 1 million more fracking wells globally by 2035, according to Schlumberger (oilfield services co.).  The issue is expressed both in unwanted externalities (enviro risks/damage) and cost within the industry (acquiring and disposing).

Something to keep an eye on, as the industry competes with Mother Nature (climate change), agriculture and urbanization globally.

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (5)

Exactly. The hyrdocarbon-based sector of the energy industry prefers hype over such concerns - and even environmentalists and activists seem to focus on pollution and other health risks (which " " " are debatable" " " ), but there is an undeniable impact on water supply.

With the 2012 drought in mind, and the stress that more severe weather (damaging storms in addition to droughts) is near-certain to bring, it's an unfortunate, and likely very costly trend that water continues to be neglected as a vital resource.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse Parent

Problem's bigger than that--What about areas where accidents or bad practices have contaminated water supplies? Putting aside the political implications, the gas companies involved will likely be- ahem- ENCOURAGED to recycle that water as well, both to recover the gas and chemical contaminants for their own use and to free up water for the communities formerly dependent on the affected aquifers.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

This reminds me of the old cartoon where the guy is sitting on a tree limb with a saw. We have tried to ruin the air we breathe, now we are going to see if we can taint the water. Out here in San Diego, some folks want to start desalination plants. That's so we can start using the ocean to take showers and wash our cars. It is absolute madness.

November 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor

Micheal; here in Pa some of the companies are using coal mine acid drainage for fracking fluids....hows that for using bad water for good? Also, several companies like GasFrac are perfecting fracking methods using no water. GasFrac has done over 1000 wells using no water, I think.
Also, there are now portable systems to clean the flowback water to the point of re-use so that the work can now be done onsite, eliminating the need to truck or pipe the flowback to a recycling center.
And the chemicals used are much safer now. Halliburton now has a mixture that all constituents have been approved for use by the food and/or cosmetics industries. So thanks to the environmentalists for helping make the methods safer!

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wiz

Gasfrac, which uses liquid propane extracted from the gas output of one well to fracture the rock of the next well, sounds about as unsmart as using natural gas and steam to make hydrogen for fuel cells. One of these days someone will figure out how to use carbon dioxide, which is liquid at downhole pressures, as a fracking fluid. Then you can build the electric generating plant near the gas field, and have an intrinsically waste-recycling process similar to nuclear breeder reactors, but without the radioactive waste problem, to tide you over until the economies of scale for photovoltaic power makes it cheaper than anything else and you can use the hydrocarbons for plastics and other chemical products instead of burning them for power.

December 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDean

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>