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Water Used for Fracing Exceeds Oil Produced in Texas

I recently read this astounding report from the Texas Tribune:

“In 2011, Texas used a greater number of barrels of water for oil and natural gas fracking (about 632 million) than the number of barrels of oil it produced (about 441 million), according to figures from the Texas Water Development Board and the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator.”

Of course wells use all of the water in the fracing process, at the beginning of the well’s life, and continue to produce oil for many years, so oil production will eventually catch up with water use. But this is nevertheless a remarkable statistic.

The Tribune article reports that a study by the UT Bureau of Economic Geology published in January “found that the amount of water used statewide for fracking more than doubled between 2008 and 2011. The amount is expected to increase before leveling off in the 2020s. The study’s lead author, Jean-Philippe Nicot of the University of Texas, has calculated that in 2011, nearly a quarter of the water used in Dimmit County went toward fracking. He projects that the figure will rise to about a third in a few years.”

The Tribune has also published a good article on the uneven responses of Texas groundwater districts to operators’ use of groundwater, that you can read here.

Fracing continues to make news elsewhere:

The California Department of OIl Gas and Geothermal Resources is considering regulations covering fracing that are being criticized by the industry and environmentalists:



In New York, which has had a moratorium on fracing since 2008, the governor is still considering whether to lift the ban. The state’s health commissioner is preparing to issue his recommendation, which the governor said will be key to his decision. The New York State Assembly recently voted to extend the moratorium through 2015.

A group of artists and actors led by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon have started up their own campaign to ban fracing in New York, called Artists Against Fracking. Several of them have produced a music video of Sean Lennon’s song “Don’t Frack My Mother:”  “Don’t frack my mother, cos I ain’t got no other. You can do anything that you want to do, but please don’t frack my mother.” Yoko Ono then pitches in: “Don’t frack me, don’t frack me.”

Only in America.

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