The Barnett Shale Energy Education Council (BSEEC) is a community resource that provides information to the public about gas drilling and production in the Barnett Shale region in North Texas.
Fact Sheets & Presentations | About Ed Ireland, Ph.D. | Newsletter Archive

MYTH vs TRUTH

MYTH: Fracking pollutes water.

TRUTH: Tim Kustic, California Div. of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, said in 2012: “There is no evidence of harm from fracking in groundwater in California at this point in time. And it has been going on for many years.”

California Div. of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources

MYTH: Fracking is dangerous.

TRUTH: Mark Nechodom, Director of California Department of Conservation, said in 2013: “In California it [fracking] has been used for 60 years, and actively used for 40 years, and in California there has been not one record of reported damage directly to the use of hydraulic fracturing.”

EPA

MYTH: Texas Commission on Environmental Air Quality has stated there is more air pollution coming from the energy industry in Dallas-Fort Worth than all the cars and trucks in the area.

TRUTH: This claim relies on a study conducted in 2009 by then SMU Professor Al Armendariz that has been thoroughly debunked by the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.

Barnett Shale Energy Education Council

MYTH: The Colorado study that suggested methane leakage rates from oil and gas systems were twice as high as previously thought.

TRUTH: Methane leakage claims have become anti-drilling activists’ answer to the impressive and undeniable reductions in American greenhouse gas emissions that have resulted from an increased use in natural gas.

energyindepth.org

MYTH: Earthquakes and sinkholes in the area are due to hydraulic fracturing.

TRUTH: The National Research Council put it best: “hydraulic fracturing a well as presently implemented for shale gas recovery does not pose a high risk for inducing felt seismic events.”

energyindepth.org

MYTH: Natural gas developed from shale increases net greenhouse gas emissions.

TRUTH: From 1990 through 2010 the natural gas industry reduced methane emissions by about 20 percent, while natural gas production has grown by nearly 40 percent.

Source: U.S. EPA, Associated Press, EPA Methane Report Further Divides Fracking Camps

MYTH: A 2012 University of Colorado Denver School of Public Health study that allegedly demonstrated an increase in cancer among people living within 1/2 mile from a site.

TRUTH: The cancer risks identified in the study (which EID debunked here) are actually in line with or well below the risk for the entire U.S. population, regardless of where they live.

energyindepth.org

@BSEEC

Despite declining rig counts, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts continued growth in natural gas production over the next two years. Previously, a common metric for estimating the production of natural gas was based on the number of gas-oriented drilling rigs in a particular region; however, in recent years, natural...

In recent years, North Texas has experienced an apparent increase of earthquakes – all low in magnitude – and scientists have been quick to blame underground wastewater injection activity as being responsible. However, Energy in Depth recently reported that the wastewater injection wells in North Texas...

By Ed Ireland, Ph. D.

The use of natural gas for fueling cars and trucks has been gaining ground in recent years. This move would get a big boost in Texas if the recently introduced bill S.B. No. 12 becomes law. Introduced by State Senator Carlos Uresti...

The Texas oil and natural gas industry paid a record $15.7 billion in state and local taxes and royalties in 2014, the highest such collection from the oil and gas industry in Texas history, according to new economic data released by the Texas Oil & Gas...

By Ed Ireland, Ph. D.

A battery of air tests during the simultaneous hydraulic fracturing of 5 Barnett Shale natural gas wells and the subsequent initial flowback period is one of the largest scale air testing projects of its kind.  Modern Geosciences, a respected environmental testing firm that has been doing quarterly and monthly air testing for the Town...

For years, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) has struggled to attain federal ozone clean air requirements, and hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Barnett Shale region has received a lot of the blame. Critics and environmental activists pointed the finger at fracking, resulting in national news headlines reporting that the oil and gas industry produced more smog-forming emissions than all the motor...

By Ed Ireland, Ph. D.

People often question why vapor recovery units (VRUs) are not required for natural gas wells in Denton and others areas of the Barnett Shale. The answer is twofold. Firstly, VRUs are designed to capture vapor from liquid storage tanks used in the oil and gas industry. Secondly, the natural gas produced in many parts of the Barnett Shale is “dry,” meaning that...

By Ed Ireland, Ph. D.

The recent decline in oil and natural gas prices has left people with mixed emotions. While everyone has more money leftover after a trip to the gas station or after paying the electric bill, there’s still concern about the effect that lower prices will have on the Texas and U.S. economies. In a recent...

In recent months, there have been some major developments across the country concerning hydraulic fracturing. In November of 2014, the city of Denton, Texas, banned hydraulic fracturing within its city limits – despite warnings of the ramifications to the economy. One month later, hydraulic...

The dramatically increased production of crude oil and natural gas in the United States is the direct result of improvements in the well completion technique commonly called fracking – short for hydraulic fracturing – a well-stimulation technique in which shale is fractured by a hydraulically pressurized liquid.

The advancement of hydraulic fracturing has been beneficial not only to the...

Those who live in and around Dallas/Fort Worth are probably aware that there were a series of small earthquakes in Irving, Texas – a city west of Dallas and east of Fort Worth – on Jan. 6, 2015. Most of the quakes were small, and they mainly centered just east of where the old Dallas Cowboys stadium (Texas Stadium) was located in Irving (the stadium was demolished in April 2010); however, two...

By Ed Ireland, Ph.D.

This morning, when my smartphone’s alarm woke me with music, I got out of my warm bed to a toasty warm home, hit the button on my grinding coffee pot and reached into the refrigerator for the milk and orange juice. I did stop to give thanks for this miracle we call modern life. 

Every step and every product in the first five minutes of my morning...

As a society, we learn through education and the media that the use of fossil fuels is detrimental to our planet and ourselves. For years, environmentalists have advocated against the use of traditional fuels; however, over the years, the quality of our lives has greatly benefited from the use of fossil fuels.  

Alex Epstein, president of the Center for Industrial Progress, made a case...

In a recent publication, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that shale gas production reached the highest level ever in 2013. Total U.S. natural gas production, or gross withdrawals, reached a new high of 82 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), with shale gas wells becoming the largest source of total...