Monday, November 25, 2013

Barges? We don't need no Fracking Barges!

On October 30, 2013, the U.S. Coast Guard proposed a policy
that would allow oil and gas companies to ship fracking wastewater
down our nation's waterways by barge.

Here's why it's a really bad idea (and PLEASE sign the petition!)

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Drilling occurring right up to NY Border

GAS DRILLING is occurring right up to the NY border. 
Check these maps:
If you live in towns of Vestal, Binghamton, Conklin, Kirkwood, Windsor, in Broome County,
or any other town north of Tioga, Bradford, or Susquehanna County PA where there is drilling occurring,
and you are on a private water well, YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED.

Hope you've got baseline tests done.

This is the COYLE NORTH 1-3H WELL, Liberty Twp, Susquehanna County.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How the Aquifer at Franklin Forks was Contaminated

This is a work in progress...

I want to expand the narrative text, but for dnow,
we're going to explain, in pictures,
How and why fracking commonly contaminates underground water sources.

Section I. Understanding Potential Energy

First, a physics lesson.

Energy can be translated between forms,
such as translating kinetic energy into potential energy.

But energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

This is how a pendulum works:

Another way to visualize this is if we imagine a giant lifting a ball on to a mountaintop:
With work, Kinetic Energy can be transformed...

 ... into Potential Energy

Potential Energy is a system waiting to
release stored energy via the path of least resistance,
so we can expect the ball to come rolling down the mountain
any time now!
A slingshot is another way to transfer kinetic energy
into stored (potential) energy. When you apply force and stretch the
rubber band, energy is stored in the chemical bonds of the rubber,
which is wanting to release and send the payload flying!
The reason why a shock absorber on a car works is that an initial shock is absorbed by compressing a spring.
This energy is then slowly released due to the action of a gas-charged cylinder and a piston.
LESSON from Section I:

If you put energy into a system, that energy doesn't vanish. It can be translated into other forms, such as heat, or as stored (potential) energy.

Section II. Understanding Water Volumes, Visualizing an underground frac job.

Ferris Wheel at Pleasure Pier in Galveston, TX is BIG!
at ~100' in diameter.
Another view of Ferris Wheel at Pleasure Pier in Galveston, TX
100' in diameter.

According to Skytruth, the average frac in Pennsylvania is 4.3 Million Gallons of water.

4.3 million gallons is a sphere about 103' in diameter. Let's call it 100'.

Cabot's typical horizontal well in 2012
was 4,100 ft long, with 17.7 frac stages (let's call it 18 stages).
WPX was the operator in Franklin Forks, but let's assume they are doing about the same.
Fracking the Oliver Well Pad, Susquehanna County, PA (Chief)
Fracking involves massive pumping trucks all working in concert
to generate explosive pressures underground.
Photo: Vera Scroggins:

Average PA frack = 4.3 Million gallons.
4.3M / 18 stages = 238,888 gallons.
This is the volume of a sphere 19.7' in diameter.
(Let's call it 20'ft)

Now think about this 100' diameter sphere made up of
18 smaller 20' diameter spheres,
each holding ~240,000 gallons.
Each of these represents one frac stage.

A schematic diagram of an 18 stage frac job, using 4.3M gallons of water.
Each frac uses as much fluid as sphere 20' in diameter.
Assuming a lateral length=4,158', the center point between each frac stage is 231'.
NOTE: Image is not to scale. Actual distribution of fluids likely not spherical.
LESSON from Section II:

Hydraulic Fracturing involves massive amounts of fluids, and tremendous energy at the surface. This energy at the surface is converted into heat, and stored, potential energy underground.

Section III. Understanding the local geology near Franklin Forks.
According to maps by the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research,
the depth of the Marcellus Shale in Northern Franklin Twp. Susquehanna County is 5,000-6,000'ft.

According to maps by the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research,
the depth of the Marcellus Shale in Northern Franklin Twp. Susquehanna County is 5,000-6,000'ft.
(detail, Susquehanna County map, with yellow star at Franklin Forks contamination site)

The Depue 8H well in Franklin Forks was 4804'ft deep (TVD).
Strange: in Franklin Forks, the Marcellus is 5,000-6000'ft. deep.

TVD, Total Vertical Depth is the linear vertical depth
from the well pad to bottom-of-hole independent of curved path.

The following graphics were taken from an industry-funded presentation, with the depth of the Depue 8H well added:

According Molofsky,, GSI Environmental,
cross section of the area near Franklin Forks.
According to this chart, the Depue 8-H at 4,604'ft was drilled
into the Tully Sandstone formation, not the Marcellus.

According Molofsky,, GSI Environmental, the Upper Devonian
strata above the Marcellus in the region of Franklin Forks is marked
by "Large Scale Faults",
Combining two graphics from Molofsky,, GSI Environmental.
Upper Devonian Formation in this area marked by "Large Scale Faults"

"Large Scale Faults" in upper Devonian strata near Franklin Forks.
(from Molofsky,, GSI Environmental)
LESSONS from Section III:
The Upper Devonian strata above the Marcellus near Franklin Forks, in Susquehanna County PA is marked by Large Scale Faults. The shale depth in this area is between 5,000 and 6,000 ft. HOWEVER-- the operator in the area, WPX (Williams Company) drilled one early well, the Depue 8H, only to 4,604', which according to the above charts, seems to be the Tully Sandstone formation, not Marcellus.

Section IV. Putting it all together

According to this article by Haliburton's Kevin Fisher, fractures commonly can extend 1,500' above the horizontal well bore:

Haliburton's Kevin Fisher reveals that fractures can extend >1,500'ft above the
horizontal bore depth. (July 2010, AOGR)
So, 4604'  (depth of Depue 8H) - 1,500' (Fischer upward fracture distance) = 3,104'.

Matt and Tammy here say their well is ~160' deep:

3104'ft - 160'ft = 2944'ft ==> This is all that fluids/gas must travel to contaminate the aquifer.
This is only 3x the distance reported in Fisher's data as being observed.

And in Franklin Forks, this was through the Upper Devonian layer which was marked by "Large Scale Faults".

According Molofsky,, GSI Environmental, the Upper Devonian
strata above the Marcellus in the region of Franklin Forks is marked
by "Large Scale Faults", as well as intra-layer Detachment / Decollement zones.

Each frac stage releases ~240,000 gallons into the surrounding rock.
This volume is equal to a sphere ~20' in diameter.

Fluids injected want to find a path of least resistance back to the surface.

According Molofsky,, GSI Environmental, the Upper Devonian
strata above the Marcellus in the region of Franklin Forks is marked
by "Large Scale Faults", so these could be the path of least resistance
for methane and fluids under extreme pressure to return to the surface
and contaminate shallow aquifers.
At 4,600'ft down, the hydrostatic pressure alone is ~3,500 psi.
This does not include the lithostatic or overburden pressure,
caused by the weight of the rocks.

I'd estimate the combined static pressure
at that depth is about 7,000-10,000 psi.
This is approximately the pressure of a fuel-air bomb.Note that the hydraulic fluids must overcome this
static pressure in order to fracture the rock. This is why the fluid pressures underground are typically ~15,000 psi.
(many industry sources cite this number)

This pressure gradient creates stored (potential) energy
in the injected fluids.
The pressures involved in hydraulically fracturing rock are similar to a fuel-air bomb.

Fluids injected at these depths contain stored (potential) energy,
which wants to release, by moving up through the pressure gradient
into areas of lesser pressure (like shallow, water-bearing strata).
It's like a ball on top of an inverted mountain.
LESSONS from Section IV: The fluids injected underground in the Hydraulic Fracturing process are under extreme pressures.

The energy expended at the surface is translated into stored (potential) energy in the fluids, which want to release this energy by returning to the surface via the Path of Least Resistance, which is likely natural faults and fissures in the surrounding geology. 

V. Conclusions:

Duke found 81.3 mg/L methane in the Manning's well

PA DEP found 38.9 mg/L and 58.4 mg/L
methane in the Manning's well

Methane concentrations this high form a serious risk of explosion.

Methane was not the only contaminants found in the water wells in Franklin Forks. Also found: Barium, Iron, Aluminum, Magnesium, Manganese, Arsenic, Chlorides, Total Dissolved Solids exceeding safe levels.

Far from being a fringe scenario, water contamination from the drilling operations in Franklin Forks seems likely, once we understand the geology and the physics.

Extreme pressures are induced into large volumes of fluid underground by expending tremendous energy at the surface. Like the energy transferred into the rubber band of a slingshot, or like lifting a heavy weight up, this energy is not lost, but STORED. 

The "charged" fluids pumped underground do not want to stay there, and will find the way back to the surface using the path-of-least resistance, which in the case of Franklin Forks, is likely to be the fault-network in the Upper Devonian formation which lies above the Marcellus.

expatriot William Robert Maines is now a citizen of the Cayman Islands



William Robert Maines, one of the owners of Endicott Interconnect, who masterminded the plan to import 80,000 gallons of landfill leachate into the Village EVERY DAY, is now a citizen of the Cayman Islands (where assets are safely hidden from the eyes of Bankruptcy judges):

Thursday, November 7, 2013

WPX Energy's Susan Oliver: "The Fixer"

Nov 1, 2013 ("All Hallows Day" / Day of the Dead)
Lt. Col. Susan Oliver (ret), ex-Military Police/Public Relations / PSYOPS
comes to the door to take away the water tank
keeping a family of eight alive.

"The Fixer"
WPX pulling out no stops
in Franklin Forks.
Have their best PR people doing the Denying.

Susan Oliver's presence is like a Harbinger of Disaster.
If Susan shows up, you know there's been a terrible,
irremediable catastrophe.

Listen carefully and in answer to the question,

What will you do to fix our water?
you will hear,
  • We didn't do it!
  • Your water was always like that.
  • People have lit their water on fire here since 1795!
  • It was because of the flood '06 flood.
  • It was because of the old slaughterhouse
  • Those activists are all from NY!
  • Those ANTIs don't believe in science. 
  • We are reaching out the the local community
  • We held a barbecue for someone who was sick
  • We are working closely with DEP and are following all regulations
  • We made a big donation to the local fire station.
  • etc. etc. ad nauseum.
and then...
  • We're here to take your tank away.
But then the little girl says,

But we don't have any clean water to drink!
Or to bathe in! or cook with! or wash our clothes!
To which they reply:
  • Listen-- you worship a FALSE GOD.
    Josh Fox is a liar, and a spoiled wannabe celebrity.
    Where's his solar panel?
  • There has NEVER been ANY case of water contamination
    from gas drilling, ANYWHERE.  GOT IT?
  • That tank was only temporary.
  • Your attorney said it was OK for us to take it. 
  • It's our equipment and we're taking it back.
  • The DEP said your water was fine.
  • and the DEP proved we didn't do it.
  • So we'll be happy to reconnect your (poisoned) well.

According to her Linkdin profile,
Lt. Col. Susan Oliver (ret.)
has a background in "Army Public Affairs",
which is a nice way of saying Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).

Also was in Military Police.
She was an O-5
(which is serious rank).

The fact they are using ex-PSYOPS officers
is No Joke -- not a conspiracy theory -- proven fact
which you know if you've read TX-Sharon's blog or seen Gasland II

Sharon went to an industry conference,
and reported that the O+G companies hire ex-PSYOPS
and treats the local guest community as "insurgants".

So it's only natural that Susan would become essentially,
a "Pinkerton" for the Gas Industry when she got out.

Tom Shepstone is like a shoe-shine boy
compared to Susan O.  
She's "the Fixer".
Let's not mince words:

Susan Oliver is proof--
Susquehanna County is an extraction colony.
It is no longer a Democracy, or a Constitutional Republic. 
Frankling Forks, Montrose, Lenox, Dimock, Liberty, Springville, etc.
These are all "company towns". 
They are under a military occupation
to ensure the mineral extraction proceeds unimpeded.

Cabot, Williams/WPX, Halliburton, and others,
and the "Energy in Depth" hit squad,
are working in collusion, using various techniques,
from Bribery to Propaganda, to Spying and Bullying/Intimidation,

Their security forces have admitted in court that the follow
people like Vera who are documenting what is going on--
even when she is on public roads.

Yet we keep doing this work, helping the victims,
and documenting the destruction.

And still we ask:

WPX: What will you do to fix the water?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WPX vs. Franklin Forks... Photo Essay about Money and Water

Money and Water

A short photo essay 

about the Franklin Forks PA 
water crisis.

See the Timeline for the full story.

WPX wants to remove water tanks ("water buffaloes") which they had gifted to two families in Franklin Forks PA, which have severely contaminated water.

Their water was fine before gas drilling came to town.
The delivered water to these families for 18 months,
but stopped in September of this year.

Now they want the tanks back.
The can't even prove they own them.

The are attached to the house in sheds built around them.
The families will have to spend $2,000 just to replace the equipment.
This does not include the costs for water deliveries!

Let's start with some attorney correspondence:

IMAGE 1: Urgent Attorney Emails

WPX Urgently needs the equipment back.

But why? Are there other homes with contaminated water?


WPX claims they incurred costs of over $2000
because they were "denied access"
to their water tank.

(They claim to have been authorized to enter the property,
but by the word of the attorney Bill Dubanevech, Esq. only.
This was against the wishes of the family.
Dubanevech has subsequently been fired)

IMAGE 3: The Cost of the Tank

They spent $2000 to retrieve a $650 tank? 


The three top executives at WPX
make a combined base salary
of $11 million dollars.

This does not include a bonus.

IMAGE 5: NO Clean Water for You, Little Girl

You don't really need to take a bath, do you?
Maybe you can use that stream out back?

IMAGE 6: Corporate Bullshit

From their website:

WPX: Not just Good Corporate Citizens,

but trusted and caring members of the community!

IMAGE 7: Ralph Hill, CEO of WPX,
with a Special Message to Franklin Forks:

Have a Nice Day!

UPDATE: Ongoing water crisis in Franklin Forks PA (Please Read / Please Help)


Friends, hope you are paying attention to the evolving water crisis in Franklin Forks,
Susquehanna County, PA, which is about 30m south of Binghamton NY.

(store-bought 1-gal or 5-gal containers)
Make cash donations for water here:
Local contacts: Vera Scroggins: 607-237-9685 / Craig Stevens: 570-967-2280

Ongoing crisis/stand-off between affected families, concerned citizens, vs. WPX Energy.

Please-- we need more eyes on this, more media attention.
If you have press contacts please alert them.

This story is BIG...

Condensed version of the story:

WPX was having a Fracking Frenzy near Franklin Forks, PA
around Feb-Mar 2012.
(WPX is part of the Williams Companies which builds/operates compressor stations
and pipelines, like the Laser NE, and the Constitution).

Suddenly, water in several homes turned black and oily, and two local homes were tested by PA DEP at EXPLOSIVE methane levels at 58mg/l and 70.6 mg/l (this is near the theoretical maximum possible at atmospheric pressure and room temperature). 

See the PA DEP determination letters for three affected families in Franklin Forks in these court documents filed Monday, Nov 4, 2013:

For several months since the original complaints were made, the PA DEP did nothing, the attorney for the families did nothing, local elected leaders did nothing, and WPX did nothing.

It was not until Vera Scroggins and Craig Stevens got involved, and made a complaint to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, that WPX came out and "voluntarily" installed water tanks ("water buffalos") to three affected homes (Hadlick, Manning, Henry families). This was March 22, 2012. WPX delivered water to them for 18 months. WPX pays $100 per day per home to deliver water, so to deliver for 18 months to three homes = $162,000.

In April 2013, PA DEP released the test results via Determination Letters which said there was "no indication" that gas drilling caused the water contamination. One week later, a press release was issued with altered wording which said "gas drilling was not to blame", and this was widely reported by the media.

Despite this, WPX continued to deliver water to these families until Sept 25, 2013, and then demanded their equipment back (water tanks). Only problem is, they built sheds around the tanks which are not fixtures attached to the homes. These sheds would need to be demolished to remove the tanks, leaving the costs of new sheds, water tanks, and hookup costs to the homeowners.

WHO OWNS THE TANKS? According to the homeowners, these tanks were gifts. There was no contract signed by the homeowners which said this equipment was temporary, or that it was not a gift, that it belonged to WPX, and would be removed once the water contamination was resolved.

IS THE WATER CONTAMINATION RESOLVED? No. The last time the PA DEP inspected the homes involved, there were still explosive levels of methane, and high levels of barium, chlorides, arsenic, aluminum, magnesium, iron, manganese, and total dissolved solids.

WPX showed up on Friday to remove the tanks, apparently with the agreement with Bill Dubanevich, esq, who had been hired by the Franklin Forks families.
Attorney Dubanavich markets himself as willing to represent people in water contamination cases against the gas industry:  However, he seems to negotiate a) without the consent or knowledge of his clients, and b) against the best interests of his clients, by allowing WPX to remove these water tanks, without having a suitable replacement in place. Dubanevich has since been fired by Mannings and the Hadlicks.

WPX was prevented by some concerned citizens who formed a blockade around the tanks. Also, Tammy Hadlick ordered WPX off her property as trespassers. WPX complied, but is now seeking a court order with US District Court, Middle District of Penn.

In these papers, WPX has made a claim that they spent in excess of $2,000 on Friday. Strangely, this exceeds the cost of the water tanks by 2.5 times!! ($800). Why don't they just leave the tanks there!?

DOES THIS COURT HAVE JURISDICTION? By the very papers WPX has filed with the court, only the Manning family have an action (lawsuit) before the court. The court does not seem to have jurisdiction over the Hadlick family, yet WPX has asked the court for an injunction to allow WPX to trespass (against the will of the property owner) to demolish attached fixtures to remove these water tanks, which WPX cannot show they own, or that they were temporary, and anything other than a gift.

There are many STRANGE and BIZARRE details of this case, which I urge you to explore at the Franklin Forks Timeline page:

But here is one final thing.... By PA state law, the drilling company is presumed liable for any water contamination near unconventional gas drilling operations which occur within 1 year of completion, and within 2,500 feet. (This was increased from 6mos/1,000 ft by Act 13, passed Feb 2012).

Only problem is, the horizontal well bore is commonly over 4,000'. On a recent "Earnings Call" the CEO of Cabot Oil and Gas admitted they had drilled one horizontal well at 8,200' (Eagle Ford Shale, TX).

Here is a graphical depiction of the WPX wells which were active in Franklin Forks Feb-Mar 2012, when a major contamination event occurred.
The yellow circles are the "presumed liability" distance. The red star is the site of the Manning's and the Hadlick's residences.

The second chart shows what typical spacing units might look like with 4,000' horizontal well bores:

The Presumed Liability distance due to Act 13 was increased to 2,500 ft from 1,000'.
Shown are the Sadecki, Mitchell, Knapik, Carrar, Hollenbeck, Depue, Webster
well pads, which all were active during Feb-Mar 2012

The only problem with a presumed liability distance being 2,500 ft from the nearest gas
well bore, is that horizontal wells commonly extend to 4,000 and beyond. 

Here is a map showing the active wells during Feb-Mar 2012 when the most severe water
contamination in Franklin Forks began, with the estimated spacing units for the wells.