No one knows what they screwed up when they injected hot steam under high pressure into the formation to produce the oil sands. Does that sound similar to the fracking process?
The oily goo is still leaking up to the surface from four locations and no one knows why it’s leaking or how to stop it. There is much speculation and finger pointing as to the cause. This speculation is particularly creepy and mirrows the speculation of many who live on the land where fracking occurs.
“There’s a pretty strong incentive for the company to portray this as a technical issue because technical issues can be fixed, unlike fundamental issues,” said Chris Severson-Baker, the managing director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental group based in Calgary, Alberta. But, Mr. Severson-Baker said, this leak, “calls into question how much knowledge the industry and the government have about the integrity of the cap rock before they allow these projects to proceed.”
Read more about the leak and see the river of black, oily goo at THIS LINK.
About Sharon Wilson
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.
- Web |
- More Posts(5117)
Alberta Neighbor says
“’There’s a pretty strong incentive for the company to portray this as a technical issue because technical issues can be fixed, unlike fundamental issues,’”
According to industry, not all “technical issues” can be fixed, and it seems they’re having a hell of a time with one in particular. Leaking well bores.
“big problem, expensive to fix … a technical solution which totally eliminates the problem may never be possible,”
“A study released in January by Alberta’s previous regulator about a 2009 spill at the same site also appears to undermine the company’s contention that old wells are the source of the problem.
While that study did not determine a cause for the 2009 spill, its authors said that they believed that the protective layer of rock ‘was likely breached by high-pressure steam injection not related to a well bore issue.’
The study added that the high pressure of the steam that Canadian Natural used probably contributed to the 2009 spill and that the steam and pressure may have created weaknesses in the protective rock layer and provided an escape route for bitumen.”
“a 2009 spill at the same site”
“that study did not determine a cause for the 2009 spill”
“they believed that the protective layer of rock ‘was likely breached by high-pressure steam injection not related to a well bore issue.’
“steam and pressure may have created weaknesses in the protective rock layer and provided an escape route for bitumen.”
So it would make sense to allow the company to continue mucking with and pretending to control nature, so we can all have our asses kicked … again. Outstanding.
Another Alberta Neighbour says
“CNRL officials…conceded it could be “months, possibly into years” before the flow stops entirely.”
“There is some urgency about cleaning the bitumen off the marshland and containing the leak in the bottom, because migratory birds will be passing by in a few weeks and may try to land there, say officials with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The company wants to avoid more wildlife losses. In an effort to scare off birds, noise cannons are booming, flags flutter on the site, decoys of predators dot the lake and bizarre mannequins peek out of the trees.
On the water, large booms contain the surface oil while crews collect bitumen. Under the water, a special fabric impervious to oil is wrapped over the fissure to contain the leaking bitumen. …
The seeping shows no sign of slowing down and that’s not likely to happen until the pressure from CNRL’s steam injection process subsides. … The question remains whether the regulator will allow CNRL to resume steam injection before the cause of the spill has been determined.”
Bubbling bitumen a black eye for oil industry:
“….7,300 barrels of bitumen have uncontrollably bubbled to the surface from deep underground and seeped into muskeg and water on four sites at the company’s operations, creating an ecological mess, killing wildlife….
The company has cut down trees, hauled away tons of oily muskeg and put containment booms on a contaminated lake. But the bitumen keeps coming, seeping out of the ground through long, narrow fissures.
Not only has CNRL been unable to stop it, the company doesn’t know for sure why it keeps coming. …
….in volume, it’s about one-third the size of the Enbridge accident that dumped more than 20,000 barrels of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010, causing the largest inland pipeline spill in United States history and creating an $800-million cleanup job. …
Also troubling is the fact this is the second CNRL leak in the same area. In 2009, 5,600 barrels seeped into the environment. A cause was never conclusively reached, but the provincial regulator said “geological weakness, in combination with stress induced by high pressure steam injection” may have contributed to the incident.
I expect Alberta’s “No Duty of Care” regulator will allow the high pressure injections to continue, even if they determine the earth can’t take it, just like they allow frac’ers to keep frac’ing frac’d communities, including those where contaminated groundwater won’t stop bubbling methane.
I expect you are right. Tragically.
Sue Heavenrich says
technically, we’re fracked.
Sue Heavenrich recently posted..NY Landowners Denied Homeowners Insurance because of Gas Well
And how long will it be before the facts of “acidizing”come to light….