Please note that clay is a natural substance that comes from the earth but it does not come in the form of a gel. For that, they mix it with hydrocarbons.
November 18, Associated Press – (Pennsylvania) Drilling halted after spill into NW Pa. reservoir.
Also note the date of the spill.
A company has halted Marcellus drilling in one northwestern Pennsylvania town after a kind of clay used to expedite the process spilled into a local reservoir, the Associated Press reported November 17. Hunt Marcellus Operating Co.
told the Bradford Era it stopped drilling in Johnsonburg after some bentonite gel was released into Silver Creek and made its way into a drinking water reservoir controlled by the Johnsonburg Municipal Authority. It was not immediately clear how much of the substance got into the reservoir. The water authority chairman said the substance is
not expected to affect the safety of the water because bentonite is a “non-toxic substance that comes from the earth.”
UPDATE: Here’s a little movie for commenter BD to watch about bentonite clay that Devon used for drilling. It ended up in this water well so we had it tested.
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Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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The bentonite is mixed with water to form a gel, the higher the concentration of bentonite the higher viscosity gel. Bentonite has many uses, it is used in the wine making process, used as a base for many dermotologic compounds, it is also used in kitty litter.
BD, you must think we are idiots. We know what’s in the bentonite mixtures that the oil and gas industry uses for their drilling mud. It’s highly toxic stuff and once it has been down hole, it comes back up with all kinds of nasty stuff.
BD ‘ole buddy!!! Water is in frac fluid–water is in your water glass that you drink. Your logic therefore concludes frack fluid is drinkable. Ha. Ha. What a dumb ass your are BD. Keep up the O&G Bull shit. We need a laugh now and then.
I very simply and politely stated some of the common uses of bentonite. I can assure you that I know the dangers of the chemicals used and have msds sheets readily available to me 24/7. Sharon, please do a quick Google search and show me where bentonite is “highly toxic” as you stated. Yes, if the fluid comes back up it may be toxic but not because of bentonite And to anonymous, about drinking frac water, I thought we were talking about a drilling spill not fracking but whatever. You are more than welcome to fact check my “bs”, let me know what you find. Good to know we can both be entertained by this site. Besides the fact of a “scary headline”, what’s the point of posting this article? How about the title, “Natural and harmless mineral that has hundreds of uses including health supplements and toothpaste was spilled today”.
My goodness, BD. If you only read part of my sentence, you might think that I said bentonite was toxic. You need to read all the way to the period, that’s how sentences work. I have used bentonite in making soap and lotions so, of course, I know that bentonite by itself is not toxic. It’s the stuff the drillers add to the bentonite that makes it toxic. And, the stuff that it brings to the surface after it’s been downhole.
Once again, you must think we are stupid. Bentonite is to drilling mud as water is to frack fluid. The bentonite and the water are harmless but the other stuff not so much.
A Nonny Mouse says
I’m trying to figure out why BD thinks this is a “scary headline.” What makes it scary? According to industry, fracking is safe so it can’t be that word that makes it a “scary headline.” So, that leaves clay, spill or reservoir.
BD–since you claim to be so knowledgable, complete, and accurate, then, you are just the individual to give us the following information for a single shale gas well that has been fracked in Texas:
1. Complete list of all chemicals, and compounds/elements that are contained in the frack fluid including quantiites.
2. Name of engineer/person who designed the frac fluid.
3. Name of well that used the frack fluid, including date and duration of frack & quantity of frack fluid pumped downhole.
4. Name of company that formulated the fluid formula.
5. Name of company that transported fluid to site.
6. Name of company that performed the frack job with said frack fluid.
7. BHTP of well during frack. Also bottom hole temperature.
8. Amount of flowback of frack fluid.
9. Others that you deem appropriate for us to determine the validity of reported frac formula for stated well.
I wait with baited breath.