An abbreviated version of the findings:
Braden claims they used the 3” polypipe/hose to pump unused “frac-water” from the Roberts Lease uphill to the lined pit adjacent to the Bailey lease in order to conserve “fresh water.” They claim the hose was cut at the creek to make picking it up easier.
The pit had a “skim of congealed oil” and “2,100 ppm chlorides.”
The creek was flowing and inspection revealed no drilling waste. The water tested at 100 ppm chlorides.
I called the inspector for clarification. He confirmed that the reason Braden gave for pumping water from the Roberts lease to the Bailey lease was to conserve “fresh water” for future use to fracture the Bailey lease.
Minor Detail One:
You can’t call it fresh water if it has drilling waste in it.
The next picture was taken by me on January 3, 2009. You can see the “oil skim” in the corner and that the level in the pit has clearly gone down. I noticed the water level going down a little bit every few days.
This last picture was taken by me on January 6, 2009, from my perch in a frozen tree. I needed to get a closer look to be sure the skim on the top of the pit looked like drilling waste, which it does.
Minor Detail Two:
Excuse my curiosity but: Where did the water go?
Braden claims they were saving the water to fracture the Bailey lease. The Bailey lease has not yet been fractured.
Where did the water go?
The inspector couldn’t answer the question.
The case has been turned over to the court with a request for “Legal Enforcement Action for violation of Statewide 8(d)1,” but the investigation appears incomplete.
Please note that Braden Exploration is the same producer who dumped their sewage from living onsite into a sludge pit. The Texas Railroad Commission refused to test the water or do further investigations because, “there was no toilet paper floating in the pit.”
In great haste,
Update: Braden doesn’t seem to get it!