Friday, May 27, 2011

Shell and the ANC

From this video it is CLEAR that Shell and the ANC has come a long way together.

Since the government is mainly ANC members, and since the government is going to make the call on this issue, we must be sure that the decision will be made on a 100% FACTUAL basis, and not on a LOYALTY basis.

Exactly what is the relationship between Shell and the ANC??????

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another well blow-out

Dalby well blow out sent gas 90m in air: landholder

By James Nason23 May 2011

The leaking gas well pictured on Monday morning. Picture: BSAUPDATE:

Arrow Energy has this afternoon advised that it has successfully stemmed the flow of water and gas from a leaking well on the property of Tom O'Connor on its Daandine field.

A statement from Arrow said the well had been capped and secured.

Arrow said it had commenced an investigation into the cause of the incident which is expected to take approximately a fortnight.

Arrow said it would also assist in any Government review of the incident. In addition, and would ensure that a summary of its investigation will be shared with stakeholders "to
ensure a better understanding of the incident and measures in place which aim to prevent the risk of re-occurrence."

Earlier, the property owner at the centre of the Coal Seam Gas well blowout told the leak was causing gas and CSG water to shoot 40 metres into the air.

Tom O’Connor runs an irrigated and dryland grain and cattle growing operation, including a feedlot, at Daandine west of Dalby.

He said Arrow Energy had constructed 12 gas wells on his property since 2006, and this was the fourth time a gas well incident had occurred on his property. None had been of this scale though.

He said the incident occurred when contractors were trying to bring a CSG well into production.

“The pressure beat them and blew the top off it, and gas and salty water has been going in the air since 9am yesterday morning.”

“I didn’t see it at the start but they tell me it was going 80 to 90 metres in the air.”

The blowout occurred on cleared grazing country that was recently cutter-barred. An exclusion zone had been established around the area, and he had not been able to get close enough to see where the water was going or how large an area it had covered.

Saline water can render agricultural country unproductive.

“It is still going on, they have had a few attempts to stop it,” Mr O'Connor said at 10:30am.

Western Downs Regional Council mayor Ray Brown was at the scene and Mr O'Connor said the premier Anna Bligh had also been calling “every hour” to stay abreast of the situation.

“The priority is getting it stopped. They have all trucks and rigs trying to stop it, they have had three or four goes but I think the pressure is beating them.

“They are talking about changing pumps and hoses to try and stop it.

“They have got health and safety here, they have got ambulances here, they just have to stop it somehow.”

Mr O’Connor said this was the fourth incident involving a gas leak from a CSG well on his property, but none had been on this scale.

“We have had lots of incidents with Arrow Energy, don’t start me,” he said.

He had also previously been involved in a court action against Arrow Energy involving a dispute over the placement of a pipeline on his property.

Mr O'Connor expressed frustration at the apparent lack of regulatory controls over the industry and protections for landholders.

“It is up to the Government to make sure they do it properly. I run cattle and grow crops. This is not my job to be talking to the media and working out how to fix a gas and water leak.

“It is not my job to make sure they are doing it right, it is the Government’s job, and this industry is about to explode all over Queensland.”

Basin Sustainability Alliance chairman Ian Haylor told the incident reinforced the BSA’s view that the coal seam gas industry was beyond the control of State and Federal regulators.

“There are no Government standards for drilling gas wells in Queensland, which is hard to believe,” he said.

“Apparently they are being developed, but it is another case of everything being done too late.”

“It just shows a total lack of care and consideration of the gas industry

“This farmer has had a number of incidents on his property, leaking gas wells, fittings blowing off, a pipeline that had a mixture of gas in it.

“As far as this goes, there is obviously a serious lack of safety standards in this process.”

Arrow Energy is currently conducting CSG community consultation sessions with landholders around southern Queensland and will hold its next session at Cecil Plains on Wednesday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aus feeling strain, 60 day moratorium imposed there over land use.

State freezes exploration licences for new mining.

Sean Nicholls; Ben Cubby

21 May 2011

A 60-DAY freeze on new exploration licences for coal, coal seam gas and petroleum has been announced by the NSW government in a push to resolve the escalating conflict between farmers, miners and conservationists over land use.

The need for a moratorium was questioned by the state's mining industry, which said billions of dollars in investment were at stake, but it said it broadly supported the development of a new approach to avoid conflict over valuable land.

The Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, announced the initial stage of the government's strategic regional land use policy yesterday, which was promised before the state election.

Under transitional arrangements, exploration licence applications after the moratorium will need to be exhibited for public comment for the first time and applications for extraction licences must be accompanied by an agricultural impact statement.

An 11-member reference group comprising representatives of business, agricultural, environment and Aboriginal groups will be established to advise on the development of the final policy.

It will be based on the establishment of regional strategic plans to set out a ''tailored approach'' for each region, to be established within 12 months.

The first of them will target conflict hotspots such as the Hunter Valley and Upper Hunter, Liverpool Plains and the southern highlands.

Mr Hazzard said the new policy would be ''fair dinkum, honest and transparent'' but described its development as a ''balancing act''.

He said business might ''wonder'' about the new policy but it would provide business with greater certainty.

Under the previous policy, exploration licences were granted without a rigorous analysis of their appropriateness, leaving companies open to disappointment when they progressed to applying for an extraction licence.

''It might have been all right 200 years ago to start whacking in a bit of mining somewhere and a bit of this and a bit of that,'' Mr Hazzard said.

''But as the state grows and as the population grows, the intensity for conflicts is just there every day. We have no choice. I think this will prove to be a policy that will become a blueprint for every other state in the country.''

The acting chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council, Sue-Ern Tan, welcomed more transparency in the assessment of mining leases, but opposed the 60-day freeze.

''It is not clear what this moratorium will achieve and we will be seeking further information from the NSW government,'' she said.

But the moratorium was appreciated by some farmers who have been caught up in the mining debate because minerals have been found under their land.

Among them is the Narrabri grazier Tony Pickard, who first heard about a plan for the state's biggest coal seam gas operation when he saw a map on a government website, with red dots indicating the proposed coal seam gas wells on his property.

''I just saw a map of my land, with dots on it - that was the first I heard of the plan because the company hadn't told me,'' Mr Pickard said.

Eastern Star Gas, a company chaired by the former deputy prime minister John Anderson, plans to sink up to 550 coal seam gas wells in the Pilliga Scrub area about 20 kilometres south of Narrabri. Its plan is being scrutinised by the state and federal governments.

An Eastern Star spokesman, Peter Fox, said a moratorium on mining on agricultural land would not affect the project, because the area spanned by the gas wells covered non-agricultural land and this could be developed first.

Mr Fox said Mr Pickard would be approached with a compensation offer if the plan was approved, but it would not want to force anyone to have their land mined.

Read more:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fracking Fluid in River

Fracking Fluid Drums Found In Arkansas Creek

Hydraulic fracturing fluid being reclaimed at a natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. (AP)Hydraulic fracturing fluid being reclaimed at a natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. (AP)

Hazardous materials crews have removed more than 20 barrels labeled as containing chemicals used for natural gas drilling from a creek in the north Arkansas town of Clinton.

Mayor Roger Rorie is upset because they were in Choctaw Creek, which provides the town's drinking water and were located just a few miles upstream from its water treatment plant.

“It goes straight to our water intake and it's fracking fluids in 55 gallon drums,” Rorie said. “We don't know how much of it has leaked out.”

He says a fisherman discovered the barrels, which emergency crews then removed.

“I'm here at the site right now where they're pulling the barrels out of the water and everyone's here just waiting on another boat to come up,” Rorie said. “The boats are going up and down the stream now picking up more barrels.”

Authorities are trying to determine if they contained the chemicals identified on the labels and whether Clinton's water has been contaminated.

“What is on the barrels or what the labels that we're seeing indicate are surfactants and lubricants and those are commonly used in the drilling operation,” said Cecillea Pond-Mayo, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

“We are going to be taking samples of the water and testing specifically for those contents.”

Mayor Rorie alleges that there has long been misconduct by companies involved in natural gas drilling in the area.

“I've been telling people what's been going on here for three years and no one has listened to me. Now we've got proof,” Rorie said.

He said the barrel labels contain lot numbers and other data that can be used to trace where they came from.

“We don't know what company dumped them in the water,” Rorie said, “but we're going to find out. We're going to prosecute.”

The ADEQ spokeswoman says the barrels might not have been intentionally dumped.

“There's a possibility that flooding may have contributed to the barrels actually being in the creek," said Pond-Mayo. "We don't know that for certain, but there is a possibility because of rising water, if the barrels were stacked on land, that that could have contributed to that. But that's something we're going to have to look at.”

The Arkansas Department of Health will determine whether Clinton's drinking water has been compromised.

Utica shale video

Thursday, May 12, 2011

French ban on shale gas drilling

French ban on shale gas drilling passes lower house

PARIS | Wed May 11, 2011 1:51pm EDT

May 11 (Reuters) - France's lower house of parliament approved a bill on Wednesday that would ban shale gas drilling due to environmental concerns, as a freeze on the controversial practice remains in effect.

The bill will be considered by France's Senate in June.

The technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into shale rock formations at high pressure to force out oil and natural gas.

Opposition has centred over potential pollution from the large amounts of water and some detergent used in the process.

The bill, introduced by President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, forbids hydraulic fracturation and revokes existing shale gas permits.

In March, the government extended its moratorium on research and drilling for shale oil and gas, pending commissioned reports to establish their environmental impact.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said that France will not rule out research to develop new forms of the technology that would be less damaging to the environment.

The authorities have granted exploration permits in southern France for shale gas and oil to companies including Total (TOTF.PA) and GDF Suez (GSZ.PA). (Reporting by Emile Picy, Writing by Alexandria Sage)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shale gas drilling contaminates drinking water

Shale gas drilling 'contaminates drinking water'

Rising prices has led to a sharp increase in shale gas extraction schemes

Related Stories

Shale gas drilling operations increase the risk of nearby drinking water becoming contaminated with methane, a study has suggested.

Researchers found, on average, methane concentrations 17 times above normal in samples taken near drilling sites.

Growing demand for energy has led to a sharp increase in shale gas extraction around the globe, prompting concerns about the impact of the technology.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We found surprising levels of methane in home-owners' wells that were close to natural gas wells, " co-author Rob Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Change at Duke University, North Carolina, explained.

"We found that within a kilometre of an active gas well, you were much more likely to have high methane concentrations," he told BBC News.

The team from Duke University collected samples from 68 private water wells in the north-eastern states of Pennsylvania and New York.

Fire water

"We found some extremely high concentrations of methane: 64 milligrams of methane per litre of drinking water, compared with a normal level of one milligram or lower," Professor Jackson observed.

Video footage of man appearing to set alight water from a tap (Image taken from YouTube)Professor Jackson said he had witnessed contaminated water being set alight

"That sort of concentration is up at a level where people worry about an explosion hazard."

Videos are available on the web that appear to show people setting fire to water pouring out of a tap, and Professor Jackson said that he had witnessed such an spectacle himself.

He agreed that the main concern at present was not from drinking the water, but from the risk of an explosion.

However, he added that the team were calling for a medical review of chronic, low-level exposure to methane.

"I could not find any peer reviewed literature on the health effects of low level methane on people," He observed.

The BBC's Roger Harrabin shows how to get fuel from hard rock

Professor Jackson said that the simplest explanation of how the gas ended up in people's water supplies was down to "leaky gas well casings".

"If there are cracks or imperfections in the gas well, especially in the vertical section nearer the surface, then methane and possibly fracking fluid/waters," he said.

"That is the simplest and most likely explanation.

"There are other possibilities; some people have proposed that methane can migrate to the surface through fissures that are opened in process of fracturing the rock. To me, that is less likely."

Professor Jackson was keen to point out that the study's drinking water samples revealed no evidence of contamination from fracking fluids, of which about five million gallons are used to unlock the gas in each well.

As well as the PNAS study, the team has also published a paper outlining a number of research recommendations, highlighting areas they feel needs to be done in order to gain a stronger scientific insight into the impact of the technique.

These include:

  • Initiate a medical review of the health effects of methane
  • Construct a national database of methane and other chemical attributes in drinking water
  • Evaluate the mechanisms of methane contamination in drinking water
  • Refine estimates for greenhouse gas emissions of methane associated with shale gas extraction
  • Systematically sample drinking water wells and deep formation waters
  • Study disposal of waste waters from hydraulic fracturing and shale gas extraction

In the UK, MPs are expected to publish a report shortly that considers the impact of shale gas extraction and what role it can play in terms of delivering future energy security.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee inquiry will also assess what are the risks and hazards associated with drilling for shale gas?

The combination of rising energy prices and concern about future energy supplies has seen the technology being embraced by nations around the globe.

"Ten years ago, people did not really know about this source of gas," said Professor Jackson.

"The boom in the United States started in the Barnett Shale (found in Texas, and considered to be the largest onshore gas reserve in the US) and it has only been in recent years that we have realised how much gas is out there and economically available.

"it is the combination of energy economics and the emergence of new drilling and fracturing technologies that have made it cheap enough to do."