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30 May 2012

Sand Mining Picks Up to Support Hydrofracturing

One of the spinoff industries associated with hydraulic fracturing of shale rock is silica sand mining. During the “fracking” process, sand is mixed with water and chemicals and pumped under high pressure to force open voids in shale. The sand is needed to prop open cracks and release gas, oil and other valuable hydrocarbons collected from the well. When it comes to “fracking,” evidently, not any old sand will do. …


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25 September 2011

The Top-Down Risk of Hydrofracturing

ExxonMobile commercials fail to address flowback fluids. ExxonMobile geologist Erik Oswald is becoming quite a media “star.” As a fellow geologist, I think this is great. Erik’s on-camara presence is warm, friendly, competent, and, most importantly, reassuring. I have no doubt that’s exactly how he is in real life. What Erik describes in Exxon commercials with respect to 1.5 mile vertical distance and engineered borehole barriers between the gas formation …


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16 July 2011

Woodland Mortality from Land Application of Waste Hydrofracturing Fluid

The latest issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality contains a peer-reviewed research paper documenting the effects of flowback hydrofracturing fluid on a wood lot. The results reported in Land Application of Hydrofracturing Fluids Damages a Deciduous Forest Stand in West Virginia (Mary Beth Adams, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station in Parsons, WV) indicate the effects of a June 2008 “frack water” dosing were swift and noticeable. From Adams: …


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