Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fracking in Kansas - KGS Rendering

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) has created a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) page on their website with a fairly complete synopsis of fracking in the state of Kansas.  They come to the conclusion that fracking in Kansas is not that big of a deal - environmentally - due to the unique geology we have, the abundance of deep injection disposal wells and a Corporation Commission that has regulated the industry for many years.

However, they continually use wording that leaves a lot of wiggle-room, such as "..Fracturing jobs are normally engineered to restrict the fractures to the target formation."  and   "..Although in most cases only a limited number of additives are used.."  and many, many more such examples.  The bottom line, as I have said before, is that if done under the right conditions in the right way, it likely is not a huge risk.  But I'm not sure every state and every operator understands what all these conditions and procedures are.  I'm also not sure the state regulators are keeping up adequately with the advances being made by the producers which KGS says are prodigious.

Anyway, KGS is to be congratulated for the posting of this material.  It is a very good overview containing a ton of basic information from which more meaningful public discussion can continue.  It has also provided me the background to ask the regulators and the industry several more specific questions that I hadn't thought of before.  We all need to insure that the extraction of oil and gas is done responsibly.  On this point I think everyone agrees.

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