Scientific Evidence Regarding Fracking
Regarding the article “Effects of Fracking Laid Out” (Nov. 13), my wife’s family owns property in North Dakota, in the Bakkan formation. We have personal experience with oil and gas regulations.
Regarding the statement on that there is little scientific evidence concerning fracking, the North Dakota Industrial Commission Department of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas Division, has worked since 1981, when regulations were first published, to control “perforating, fracturing, and chemically treating wells.” The section of regulations has been revised twice since, in January 1983, and the latest, April 1, 2010.
North Dakota has done a good job balancing between property owners and oil companies. At www.dmr.nd.gov/oilgas/rules/rulebook.pdf you will find a 150-page manual. Chapter one discusses regulations to protect surface and ground water.
Chapter two lists detailed regulations covering “Casing, Tubing and Cementing Requirements.” There are actually four separate pipes used in a drilling, the outer pipe being 9 5/8 inches and the second pipe 7 1/2 inches. Cement is forced down between these pipes to form a barrier to any leakage. These pipes go down two miles. Two other pipes are then inserted horizontally, a 4 1/2 inch and a 2 7/8 inch. The fracking is done by the smallest pipe.
This section has been revised 10 times starting April 30, 1981, with the latest effective April 1, 2010.
The North Dakota assembly states, “The legislative assembly designates hydraulic fracturing, a mechanical method of increasing the permeability of rock to increase the amount of oil and gas produced from the rock, an acceptable recovery process in this state.”
As to the question of North Carolina having no model state to turn to for guidance, North Dakota would be my recommendation for its extensive experience and oversight of the oil and gas industry.
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