Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Both sides now

Both sides now

Eric Dahlberg, Calgary Herald, Letter to the Editor
Published: Saturday, October 26, 2013

Re: "Fracking protesters air legitimate concerns," Letter, Oct. 21.

These days, as the author of a book which is an international petroleum industry standard on water, petroleum and their movement through underground rock materials, I am frequently asked (at cocktail parties or concerts) by relatives, friends and environmentally concerned colleagues: "In your opinion, is fracking good or bad?"

My constant and most sincere answer is "both," depending on the results of the individual job. It's bad if the formations concerned rupture in a way that leads dangerous liquids offthrough newly created fractures into clean water sources. It's good if the fractures lead hydrocarbons into the producing zones and well bores as intended, once liberated, to accumulate.

The results of fracking can be truly miraculous production-wise, when things go right as they generally do.

But since rocks as naturally created materials will often behave mysteriously and often unpredictably under stress, and crack in unanticipated patterns, fracking, I think, is good (for energy producers and worldwide consumers), bad (for users of water from contaminated aquifers or surface water courses), thus both, depending on the final outcome.

Eric Dahlberg, Calgary

Eric Dahlberg is president, ECD
Geological Specialists.

No comments: