January 24, 2012

And the "Frack" goes on....

If you don't live in an area of the nation that has gas or oil well drilling going on, then the only time you've probably heard about the current gas and oil "rush" is on TV. And you may not have even heard about it from the news either. The current "gas rush" in the North Central Texas area is so big it could be compared to the California Gold Rush of 1849.

In Johnson County, Texas, where I live, new well heads and drilling rigs are going up every day, all over the county as the gas companies rush to extract the "new millineum gold" from the Barnett Shale. The Barnett Shale is a massive rock formation that lies beneath the earth's surface in seventeen north and central Texas counties. In the Barnett Shale, it is estimated there is enough gas to keep companies pumping for decades.

In order to extract some of the hard-to-get-to gas out of their hiding places, the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is introduced into the drilling process. Fracking is the action of injecting fresh water deep into the ground so that little pockets of gas and oil can be extracted from the cracks, crevices and rocks held deep within the earth's crust.

To start the process of "fracking", the companies need to obtain water from somewhere, because they could  be drilling miles and miles from a lake. A common site along the back roads and by-ways in the Barnett Shale area in Texas is shown in the pictures below. To get the water they need to the well site for the fracking process, the gas and oil companies will purchase water rights from local ranchers, farmers and landowners. The piping below is how they deliver that much needed water to the well site from local ponds, small lakes and streams.

The pictures below show the route that I take each day going to work. And as you can see, there are literally miles and miles of this piping utilized for one drilling job and that's just in the county where I live.

Hope you enjoy the story and the photos. Drill baby, drill!

The Impulsive Texan

"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...