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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fear of fracking: How public concerns put an energy renaissance at risk

Fear of fracking: How public concerns put an energy renaissance at risk

CARRIE TAIT, SHAWN McCARTHY - The Globe and Mail

Chad Winters keeps his hand on his radio, politely giving orders to co-workers toiling at an oil property in a stretch of Alberta farmland.

“One tonne of 40/70,” Mr. Winters requests over the radio. “Three thirty-three, then hold till I tell you otherwise.”

Mr. Winters speaks a language few understand. He runs the show in the field when Trican Well Service Ltd. is called in to perform a controversial technique used to gather oil and natural gas from impermeable rocks.

On this day, Trican is working for NAL Energy Corp. near Bowden, about 100 kilometres north of Calgary. Trican is there to pump water, chemical and natural additives, and nitrogen down a well at frighteningly high pressure, with hopes of forcing fissures in the rocks thousands of metres below the surface. Sand will follow, propping open the cracks, allowing trapped oil to escape. The process is called hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

Mr. Winters sits in the site’s computer van as he calls out changes to fracking fluid mixtures to his workers, eyeing a large-screen TV relaying data from above and below ground. Computer monitors manned by other team members fill the van. Mr. Winters has worked his way up through Trican; his days of spitting sand out of his teeth and keeping chemicals away from his eyes are over.

The pipes outside the van are pulsating as the pumper trucks shoot the fracking fluid down the well. The air smells of diesel exhaust due to the row of trucks powering the operation.

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/static/business/article2365172.html#ixzz1olTYbYhl

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

diesel exhaust due to the row of trucks powering the operation




... known to cause cancer. seen first hand.