The facts do not support your reader’s accusations concerning oil and gas well fracturing in his letter in the Jan. 27 issue of Oklahoma Gazette (Jay Hanas, “‘Taken aback’ by Chesapeake exec’s assertions”).
I have 48 years experience selling oil field specialty chemicals, 38 of which were spent selling to fracturing service companies all over the world. In addition, I have a geology degree, so I have some knowledge about the process. No government has ever found the need to ban fracturing due to its enviable safety record.
Hanas cites some hazardous chemicals utilized in fracturing operations. The most common chemicals used include dihydrogen monoxide (by far the main ingredient), polymer, silicon dioxide, plus some diluted sulfated oxyalkylated alcohols (foamer).
Sound scary? Well, the above equates to water (we drink this), guar gum (used in salad dressings and malts as a thickening agent), sand and diluted dishwashing soap! The guar and foamer are biodegradable.
Now then, on occasion, other additives are employed. Yes, embalming fluid (formaldehyde) may be present in minor amounts in certain additives, but it is reacted, and for all intents and purposes, is inert, as such.
Yes, acids may be used in small amounts in frac operations in break-down fluids. The acid most commonly used is hydrochloric acid, (sold at swimming pool supply outlets as “muratic” acid), and it is used to adjust pH and remove scale deposits. Other acids that may be employed include citric acid (vitamin C), and acetic acid (vinegar).
Hanas states his information sources include congressional records (wow), and discussions with so-called experts. Are these experts the same ilk that have been discredited for promoting the biggest scientific hoax ever perpetrated, manmade global warming? And, I must say that I am underwhelmed that newspaper articles from the East Coast (the elitist petroleum experts of the world), question the safety of hydraulic fracturing.
You can rest assured that if the Environmental Protection Agency (with their nit-picking procedures) has deemed hydraulic fracturing safe, they have not been able to find much, if any, evidence that this procedure is detrimental to the environment. Ranchers have been looking for alleged culprits for years to claim damages for livestock deaths. It is usually cheaper to settle with them than to go to court in a hometown setting.
Mother Nature has been in the fracturing business for millions of years. So far, man’s environmental record is superior!