Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fracking - You want to know about chemicals?

Below is an excerpt  from a Men's Journal article.  I have included only the info on fracking chemicals used in the wells in northwest North Dakota.  Thought you might find it interesting.

Men's Journal/ The Magazine
Greetings from Williston, North Dakota
by Stephen Rodrick
July 2012

A few days later, Joe is trying to sleep when things go to hell. Behind his trailer is a slightly nicer trailer, housing the eggheads from Payzone Directional Drilling Services, a company being paid $15,000 a day to supervise the horizontal drilling. The Payzone guys sit at computers and watch a camera mounted on a 30-foot turbine that steers the drill. Last night, the eggheads did all sorts of mathematical equations and programmed the turbine to take a hard left at 10,000 feet across the middle Bakken. Numbers are punched into a computer, and everyone takes a break. The Payzone guys watch a movie on cable and check their email.
But something gets fucked up. The pipe turns the wrong way and drills in exactly the wrong direction. If the pipe keeps drilling, it's going to end up on someone else's property or miss the oil zone completely. A Payzone guy wakes up Joe. He tells him the entire pipe has to be pulled out of the ground so they can figure out what went wrong.
Joe is not happy. "Who fucked this up?"
Nobody knows. What we do know is that for Joe's crew, the next 14 hours are going to suck. Every joint of the pipe has to be filled with viscous oil-based drilling mud  the K-Y of drilling lubricant  before it is dropped in the ground. One of the Payzone guys describes it to me as "the Chernobyl of drilling fluid, the most chemical-≠laden goop known to man." Now, it all has to come back up. When the pipe gets pulled out of the ground, the toxic K-Y is going to fly ≠everywhere.
Joe tells his crew what they have to do. They look at him like he has told them to start digging their own graves. And in a way he has. If the shit gets on your skin, you break out in lesions and whiteheads.
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