The ever-vigilant and fair Rowena Mason at the Daily Telegraph dives deep into the Shale Gas (Gas Shale) story with a piece featuring a trailer for the new Gasland film :-
“Shale gas pollution fears leave Americans with another energy headache : By Rowena Mason Energy Last updated: June 23rd, 2010 : Still politically scorched from BP’s giant Gulf of Mexico spill, it couldn’t be a worse time for America’s oil giants to find themselves roasting in another environmental firestorm. But new flames of controversy are on the horizon – in fact, literally emanating from the drinking water of US citizens living near so-called “shale gas” fields. A controversial documentary, Gaslands, which was aired on television channel HBO this week, shows one Colorado homeowner bending over his tap, holding a lighter with outstretched arm and igniting his chemical-laden water…”
This is turning into a highly visible environmental problem in the United States of America, and it may soon turn extremely litigious :-
“A Fracking First in Pennsylvania: Cattle Quarantine : by Nicholas Kusnetz : ProPublica, July 2  : Agriculture officials have quarantined 28 beef cattle on a Pennsylvania farm after wastewater from a nearby gas well leaked into a field and came in contact with the animals. The state Department of Agriculture said the action was its first livestock quarantine related to pollution from natural gas drilling. Although the quarantine was ordered in May, it was announced Thursday. Carol Johnson, who along with her husband owns the farm in north-central Pennsylvania, said she noticed in early May that fluids pooling in her pasture had killed the grass. She immediately notified the well owner, East Resources Inc. “You could smell it. The grass was dying,” she said. “Something was leaking besides ground water.”…”
And it’s not just the poisoning the water tables that is problematic :-
“Jun. 30, 2010 : Citations against Marcellus drillers have doubled so far this year : By Andrew Maykuth : Pennsylvania environmental regulators have issued nearly 565 citations against Marcellus Shale natural gas operators so far this year – about twice last year’s pace. Five companies were responsible for half the violations, and nearly three-quarters of them occurred in five north-central Pennsylvania counties where shale-gas drilling is most intensely concentrated, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Protection sent Wednesday to the state Senate’s Environmental Resources and Energy Committee…Five of 37 operators accounted for half the violations: Chief Oil & Gas L.L.C., Talisman Energy USA Inc., East Resources Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corp., and Seneca Resources Corp…”
Worse, local environmental problems, including water contamination and mechanical accidents, may obstruct the development of this cleaner energy source – Natural Gas from shale has emissions advantages over Coal :-
“7 June 2010 : Shale Gas Well Blowout Raises Specter of New BP: Energy Markets : A Pennsylvania natural gas well “blowout” last week helped drive prices to a 14-week high on concern that tighter restrictions on offshore drilling following BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico spill will spread onshore. The incident on June 3 at the project operated by EOG Resources Inc. shot natural gas and drilling fluids onto the ground and 75 feet (23 meters) into the air, the state Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement on June 4. The well is in the Marcellus Shale gas find in Clearfield County, about 122 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. With offshore exploration curtailed, dependence on shale gas may grow, amplifying the impact of any disruptions. A “blowout” is the industry’s term for a surge of pressurized oil or gas that causes an eruption and is what caused the explosion and fire at BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf April 20, resulting in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. “The shale problem is a bullish factor in the market,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “A lot of people are starting to worry about the Gulf production of gas. The more we cut back on Gulf production, the more we rely on shale production.”…”
All of which suggests a most uncomfortable question : where is BP in all of this ? They sell it – so who exactly is fracking BP’s Shale Gas ? What names are on the operations ? Do we have a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon Transocean sub-contracting going on in Gas Shale, too ? And is this another liability in the BP family portfolio ?
Most people in the United Kingdom think this is over the Big Pond, and don’t realise that there are plans for the exploitation of Shale Gas (Gas Shale) in Europe, too :-
Are the Bad GasLands coming here, then, too ?