Blog Description

Fraccing With Two C's is a blog focused on the highly controversial topic of hydraulic fracturing stimulation in the oil and gas industry. The title of this blog stems from the slang term for hydraulic fracturing as it is spelled in the oil and gas industry, which differs from that commonly used in the media and by the general public, 'fracking'. Fracture stimulation is also commonly referred to as fracing, but at Colorado School of Mines the Petroleum Engineering Department generally spells the slang term with two c's.

This blog will address some of the concerns, misconceptions, and recent news on this topic. Though personal opinions are present, we will remain factual and provide evidence for all discussions. We welcome comments of all sorts, whether they agree or disagree with our opinions, as long as they are appropriate for a classroom setting, since this is a project for a science communication course.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Generalizations can be Over-Generalized.

On this weeks episode of "Why Isn't Everything Perfect?, we will discuss how fraccing will contaminate your drinking water and kill you. Drilling companies are looking to suck all the resources out from under your feet, use it all themselves, and looking to harm you.

Okay sorry, that was a poor effort of humor and a bit sarcastic but please read on...  :)

This post is not geared towards making the Oil and Gas industry innocent of ever doing anything wrong, and it's not intended to relay that environmentalist and reporters are liars and uneducated. If anything I would like to point out how some information that is spread across media can be blown way out of proportion and cast a negative connotation on individuals, industries or even ideas through generalizations.

This first generalization comes from an article in the New York Times, by Ian Urbina where she references Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil where he stated, “There have been over a million wells hydraulically fractured in the history of the industry, and there is not one, not one, reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing. Not one,”
This is quite the bold statement and I for one do not want to be caught in the generalization, as a Petroleum Engineer, that I have as strong of beliefs as Mr. Tillerson does.  Whether this is even an exact quote, who knows, but I know that there have been some instances of miscalculations or projects coming across obstacles that may cause problems.  Do you think that the NASA scientists intended on designing a shuttle that would kill the Austronauts in the Challenger disaster?
There have indeed been proven cases such as a property in West Virgina where a well that was drilled had fluids that had migrated into the landowners water well and had been specifically identified and rendered as unusable.  If I were the engineer for this project, I would compensate for the troubles, find a remedy to this land, learn a lesson to improve future projects, and then keep doing what I do, and that is to keep providing our country with energy.

Bill Mercer

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