June 14th, 2011, North Canton, OH —Several Kent State University Stark Campus students have joined in the national call for a ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Giavasis called the bid for a ban or moratorium on drilling and fracking an uphill battle, but he urged those at the rally to keep fighting.
“This is a freight training running down the tracks without anybody running it,” Giavasis said of the efforts to expand natural gas and oil drilling in Ohio. “We need to confront them and let them know we’re not going to let this happen.”
Horizontal drilling is just starting in Ohio. A handful of wells have been drilled in Carroll and other southeast counties, while a permit for a horizontal well has been issued in Stark County.
The damage done to Mangan’s water well occurred after a vertical well was drilled about 2,400 feet from his house in September 2008. Mangan said his water well initially ran dry. When it began flowing, the water contained natural gas, hydrogen sulfite and concrete, he said.
Since the problem started, Mangan said he has battled the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the company that drilled the well. “We’ve been going through this for three years. Nobody’s helping us.”
For the past year energy companies have been exploring shale formations in eastern Ohio. Most are angling for the Utica shale, which is about 5,000 feet deep in this area.
Companies are combining horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
To reach the rock formations, companies drill a vertical well to the formation, then bend the well to drill on a horizontal plane. The well cuts through the shale. An average well will run about 5,000 feet deep before bending, then another 5,000 feet through the rock.
Hydraulic fracturing occurs after the well is drilled. About 5 million gallons of water and sand, mixed with chemicals, is forced through the well to the rock formation. The water pressure cracks the rock, and the sand keeps the fractures open, which releases natural gas, oil and other hydrocarbons.
Energy companies contend the chemicals used in the frack solution are there to keep well pipes clean and help the solution flow with less friction.
Drilling opponents argue that such large qualities of chemical solution are dangerous and potentially toxic.
Opponents say the chemicals can migrate through the rock and reach ground water, polluting natural aquifers and water wells. Companies counter that they are drilling one mile below the surface and far away from aquifers.
By CantonRep.com Staff Report.
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