Back in June, Yolandita and David’s frack related blog posts and video, put the amount of materials used in a typical hydrofracturing operation into a perspective that was easier to grasp. With a better idea of how much fluid is used in every operation fresh in your head, I would like to give you an idea of how many fracturing operations there are.
|Screen shot of Google Earth. The State of Pennsylvania. The arrow points to our frame interest and the bordering states of PA have been color coded.|
In November 2010 a joint effort by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and Audubon Pennsylvania produced a map published on The Nature Conservancy’s website. The map places a mark on all drilled and permitted Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling locations. Within the crowd of hundreds of place-marks, there were locations where wells were extra concentrated. I selected one of those areas to investigate, using imagery available in Google Earth.
|Screen Shot of Google Earth, Imagery from 10 May, 2010. The yellow and white boxes frame the areas that I inspected more closely.|
The image above centers Carmichaels, PA. and two areas of further investigation are also framed in the image. The borough of Carmichaels, as of the 2000 census, has a population of about 500 people. This small town, located near the Monongahela River, on the crossroads of rt.21 and 88, served as a landmark for my investigation. From a visual inspection, there were plenty of wells to take a look at here.
|Screen shot of Google Earth, Imagery from 10 May, 2010. Two Marcellus Shale Formation wells. Northern location is magnified in a window.|
The image above is an example of Marcellus Shale Formation drilling; waste-water retention ponds, trucks, storage tanks, and uneven and unpaved roads leading to square patches of barren ground are common characteristics of gas wells that have been fractured. All Marcellus Shale Formation wells must be fracked in order to be profitable.
Screen shot of The Nature Conservancy’s map of the locations of Marcellus Shale Formation that have been drilled. (the place marks have been enlarged from their original appearance.)
Screen Shot of Google Earth, Imagery from 10 May, 2010.
|Screen shot of Google Earth, imagery dated 28 May, 2008.|
|Screen shot of Google Earth, imagery dated 5 August, 2006.|
|Screen Shot of view over Carmichaels, PA.Image dated: 10 May, 2010. Pink marks are Marcellus wells, and white markers are spud locations from any type of gas well. The location of the previous image has been outlined in white.|