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A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World: 23 Oct 2014

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World:

*Everywhere.  Are oil prices plummeting because of “increased US production, slowing economies in Europe and China and steady production from . . . Opec”?  Or an attempt to put the squeeze on Russia and Iran?  Or is Saudi Arabia sitting out the price drop until it proves too much for US oil frackers and they “move out of the business”?  Will falling prices lead to Venezuela defaulting on its debt, taking “painful steps” that will lead to more political instability?  Will Egypt’s former petroleum  minister’s prediction of $60/barrel pan out?  More, including a graph showing the “break-even” point for oil-producing countries, excluding US.

*Everywhere.  The sudden decrease in international oil prices—whatever the cause—is benefitting some countries, the oil importing ones.  That list used to be headed by the US;  this year  China surged to the top.

*Everywhere.  Eight conservation experts from several major universities say we have “significant ‘knowledge gaps’ as to how shale-gas operations impact ecosystems and wildlife.”  There’s  a huge data gap in reporting “on spills, wastewater disposal and the composition of fracturing fluids.” (Related item at WV below.)

*US-France.  Researchers claim they’ve figured out to “distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes—such as conventional oil and gas drilling”.   Frackers are not required to disclose the chemicals they use, but the new process by-passes that problem.

*US.  Some frackers are reportedly “using 10,000 tons of sand for one well [which is] a mile long train of sand, to just frac one well”, says US Silica Holdings Chief Executive.   They’re anticipating producing 14 million tons of fracking sand by 2016.

*US.  Frackers have a way around federal law requiring “a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process.”  Diesel contains benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Why not just use benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene separately since there’s no law against them?  Not only that, but they can be obtained in an even stronger state when purchased separately.

*CA.  InterState Oil Co. will “stop loading train shipments of crude oil at McClellan Business Park” in Sacramento beginning November 5th.  EarthJustice filed suit in September, arguing that no full environmental impact review, as required, was made prior to issuing InterState a permit “to transfer what is believed to be highly flammable North Dakota crude oil from trains to tanker trucks bound for Bay Area oil refiners.”  EarthJustice has also sued to halt Kern County’s planned “largest crude-by-rail project in the state.” [cont’d.]

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A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World: 23 Oct 2014

A Quick Whirl Around The Fracking World:

*Everywhere.  Are oil prices plummeting because of “increased US production, slowing economies in Europe and China and steady production from . . . Opec”?  Or an attempt to put the squeeze on Russia and Iran?  Or is Saudi Arabia sitting out the price drop until it proves too much for US oil frackers and they “move out of the business”?  Will falling prices lead to Venezuela defaulting on its debt, taking “painful steps” that will lead to more political instability?  Will Egypt’s former petroleum  minister’s prediction of $60/barrel pan out?  More, including a graph showing the “break-even” point for oil-producing countries, excluding US.

*Everywhere.  The sudden decrease in international oil prices—whatever the cause—is benefitting some countries, the oil importing ones.  That list used to be headed by the US;  this year  China surged to the top.

*Everywhere.  Eight conservation experts from several major universities say we have “significant ‘knowledge gaps’ as to how shale-gas operations impact ecosystems and wildlife.”  There’s  a huge data gap in reporting “on spills, wastewater disposal and the composition of fracturing fluids.” (Related item at WV below.)

*US-France.  Researchers claim they’ve figured out to “distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes—such as conventional oil and gas drilling”.   Frackers are not required to disclose the chemicals they use, but the new process by-passes that problem.

*US.  Some frackers are reportedly “using 10,000 tons of sand for one well [which is] a mile long train of sand, to just frac one well”, says US Silica Holdings Chief Executive.   They’re anticipating producing 14 million tons of fracking sand by 2016.

*US.  Frackers have a way around federal law requiring “a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process.”  Diesel contains benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. Why not just use benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene separately since there’s no law against them?  Not only that, but they can be obtained in an even stronger state when purchased separately. (more…)

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