What to Expect When Your Wells are Fracked

I said I wasn't going to post much on this any­more, but this arti­cle strikes me as help­ful. Con­sid­er who wrote it and why, and assume that every­thing in it is prob­a­bly under­state­ment. At least, that's my sus­pi­cion.

Dis­claimer: This arti­cle focus­es on the chang­ing sights and sounds you and your neigh­bors may expe­ri­ence once nat­ur­al gas explo­ration, devel­op­ment, and pro­duc­tion begins on your land. It is not intend­ed to dis­cuss the polit­i­cal, envi­ron­men­tal, or legal aspects of the deci­sion, or to con­sid­er your con­tract in depth.

Most landown­ers leas­ing land for Mar­cel­lus nat­ur­al gas devel­op­ment are inex­pe­ri­enced with drilling and indus­tri­al-scale oper­a­tions, lead­ing to mis­un­der­stand­ings of even well-inten­tioned infor­ma­tion. One fam­i­ly in Brad­ford, PA, for exam­ple, was told that they’d see a “house-sized propane tank” from their house. The father said, “We thought they meant like a res­i­den­tial tank, not one the size of a house.”

How­ev­er, when an engi­neer who works with indus­tri­al heat­ing and cool­ing equip­ment heard this sto­ry, he thought the company’s descrip­tion was clear. Air con­di­tion­ing units the size of small school bus­es are com­mon in his line of work; he con­nect­ed imme­di­ate­ly with the scale of the equip­ment. Most peo­ple, how­ev­er, think air con­di­tion­ers fit in the liv­ing room win­dow — our sense of scale doesn’t match indus­tri­al-sized equip­ment, and so some peo­ple may feel they mis­un­der­stand what oper­a­tors tell them.

This arti­cle offers an acces­si­ble descrip­tion of what landown­ers expe­ri­ence at dif­fer­ent stages dur­ing the process of drilling into the Mar­cel­lus Shale lay­er. Most of the fac­tu­al infor­ma­tion in this arti­cle was pro­vid­ed by either Brad Gill, direc­tor of Inde­pen­dent Oil and Gas Asso­ci­a­tion of New York (IOGANY) [2] or by Mark Scheuer­man, direc­tor of gov­ern­ment and media rela­tions for Tal­is­man Ener­gy, a prime play­er in Mar­cel­lus Shale devel­op­ment in New York and Penn­syl­va­nia, unless oth­er­wise indi­cat­ed. More.

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