Friday, 28 February 2014

Concerns over minifrac application

Rathlin Energy has submitted applications to the Environment Agency to mini-frac each of their two wells in the East Riding.

Please comment on them here.

As well as the concerns over increased traffic volumes, noise levels and light pollution, you may wish to consider these three areas of concern:

1) Pollution of the aquifer by the aqueous solution of chemicals injected into the well

The vast majority of the drinking water in East Yorkshire and the city of Hull is aquifer fed. This
aquifer covers a vast area and is crucial to the well-being of the local population (full details of the aquifer can be found on Yorkshire water’s website)

Any pollution of this precious and irreplaceable resource would be catastrophic for the local population. The exact combination of chemicals in the aqueous solution injected into the well tends to be commercially sensitive, but is known to contain a huge mixture of potentially hazardous chemicals (one such is dodecylbenzene sulphonic acid)

Even minor spills of the chemical solution at the surface or by damage to the well casing could cause long term problems for the aquifer which would be extremely costly and time consuming to correct

2) Contamination of the aquifer by the organics in oil/gas reservoirs

This is potentially more of a problem than 1) above. If oil or gas is extracted by fracking, it is possible that volatile organics such as benzene, toluene and xylene (BTEX) could leach into the water supply.

When this contaminated water is then chlorinated at the water treatment works (as is normal and a legal requirement) the BTEX chemicals will form chlorinated organics which are potentially carcinogenic

Methane will also be present and if allowed to enter the water supply and then chlorinated will form products such as chloroform and carbon tetrachloride

This is major problem for water companied in old industrialised areas such as Bradford where industrial oils and greases have leached into the surface water.

3) Air pollution

As well as issues caused by flaring off excess gas (possible release of carcinogenic chemicals etc), all fossil fuel sources contain sulphide chemicals at some level. During extraction these sulphides can form hydrogen sulphide (the bad egg gas) which is highly toxic – this is why oil installations will have hydrogen sulphide gas detectors installed.

The villages of Walkington and Bishop Burton are directly downwind of the prevailing westerlies. This could be an issue for conventional extraction as well as fracking.

1 comment:

  1. The thing is us protesters have a very strong case against fracking and why it is very wrong in many ways. Anyone with half a brain also would understand the simple reasons why we do not agree with fracking and this is why if we get as many people involved as possible, we will win this fight. This government had gone to far already against the poor, sick and the elderly but this is the straw that broke the donkeys back. Lets us think back to the world wars were ordinary folk fought to give us all freedom to live in a country that is safe (eaten bread is soon forgotten), so we must stop this nonsense dash for cash. We are now the troops on the front line so let your fingers do the walking and attend any local meetings etc. Thank you for everyone`s effort big or small. Peace. Gary Lutkin (Hull and East Riding Against Fracking)