Waste Not, Want Not

November 15, 2017

This matter of flaring associated gas from unconventional shale plays has always pissed me off, big time. Its necessary, for brief periods of time awaiting evaluation  of newly drilled well(s) and the build-out of infrastructure to gather that gas; I get that. But if the shale oil industry can boast about "drillable locations" on its acreage blocks, to the tune of  thousands, and pretty much all shale oil wells are going to make gas, why wait to build out gathering systems? It's bullshit. Sorry. I particularly dislike how flared gas, going up in vapor  and not generating a penny of revenue, is used in BOE determinations, EUR estimates and predicting well economics for the benefit of stock investment presentations and sales pitches to lenders. Where I come from that's called lying.

 

Shale operators  did not gather associated gas in the Bakken  of North Dakota for the first seven years of its existence; there is no telling how many hundreds of billions of MCF's got wasted in North Dakota before the NDIC put their foot down and changed flaring rules.

 

Flaring rules tightened in Texas in 2012-2013 and there was less of it in the Eagle Ford as a result; now it appears takeaway capacity in the Permian is restricted and flaring may be on the rise again. New Mexico, a very significant part of the Permian "boom," has very lax flaring rules.

 

I am no fan of the Environmental Defense Fund but its got a current point about flaring associated natural gas in the Permian Basin; its  a damn waste  of America's hydrocarbon resources. The shale industry, in all of its "technological" glory, has the where-with-all to stop that crap, tomorrow. 

 

And while I am ranting, in the same part of the world they're wasting all that natural gas, so Permian LTO can be exported to foreign countries for big price discounts (another waste of America's resources), the shale oil industry is now using 500-600,000 barrels of usable, fresh water per well for its new, bigger versions of fracs. One shale oil well potentially uses the same amount of water that 250,000 human beings can use in one day. Multiply that times 200 wells per month from both sub-basins in the Permian and now your talking about real water. And all the "rhetoric" about the shale oil industry out there using brackish water, and recycling produced water, or blended water to frac with; I've been in the Permian recently, seen where the water comes from, and the rhetoric is more bullshit. West Texas is an arid desert, it does not have that kind of water to waste. The annual rainfall of Midland is less than 15 inches.

Thanks to infillthinking.com, this is a Facebook posting from the mayor of Lamesa, Texas, north of Midland/Odessa, on 8 November 2017

 

The City of Lamesa

EMERGENCY ALERT FROM THE JOSH STEVENS, MAYOR OF LAMESA:

 

THE CITY IS OPERATING AT SEVERLY LOW WATER LEVELS. PLEASE BE PREPARED FOR A POSSIBLE WATER OUTAGE BY DAYS END. WE ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO BE PREPARED BY LETTING BAGS OF ICE MELTING IN A ICE CHEST FOR FLUSHING TOILETS AND HAVE BOTTLED WATER ON HAND FOR CONSUMPTION. WE ARE EXPECTING A DELAY IN WATER PRODUCTION FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS. PLEASE MAKE ANY AND ALL ACTIONS NECESSARY FOR THIS POSSIBILITY.

 

America's hydrocarbon future is in the hands of idiots looking to make a quick buck and get out, before the doo-doo hits the fan. When W. Texas is out of drinking water the guys that caused it will be long gone.

 

 

Mike Shellman 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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