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Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-23-2014 05:08 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/23/us/north-dakota-oil-boom-downside.html

I'm not a "tree hugger" in the traditional sense, but some of the stuff in that article is pretty fucked up. Some nice examples of failed government, greed, and good old fashioned corruption.
I know some guys on the forum work in Bakken or Canada, have you seen the stuff they talk about here?

"Over the summer, speaking to farmers in the town of Antler, Lynn D. Helms, the director of the Department of Mineral Resources, announced “a little bit of good news”: The spill rate per well was “steady or down.” In fact, the rate has risen sharply since the early days of the boom."

"Continental Resources hardly seems likely to walk away from its 1.2 million leased acres in the Bakken. It has reaped substantial profit from the boom, with $2.8 billion in net income from 2006 through 2013.
But the company, which has a former North Dakota governor on its board, has been treated with leniency by the Industrial Commission."


"In the spring thaw of 2011, however, after a winter of record snowfall, scores of oil waste pits overflowed at once. The large, open pits, adjacent to rigs throughout the Bakken at that point, disgorged oil-based drilling mud that mixed with snowmelt and streamed across farmland and into stock ponds, creeks and river tributaries."

"State officials say the spill far exceeded the 12,600 gallons originally reported by the company, Petro Harvester, though it remains listed that way on the state’s spills website. Mr. Helms, in an email last year to his spokeswoman, Alison Ritter, estimated it at 332,000 gallons. Mr. Nelson, the legislator and agronomist, thinks it probably was three times that much."

"Indeed, The Times found scores of cases on that website where the release of pollutants was not just undercounted but marked as zero. One supposedly zero-volume wastewater spill in Bottineau County last year required the removal of 600 dump-truck loads of contaminated soil."

[Image: 20141120DAKOTAPIX-slide-3PMU-jumbo.jpg]


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - komatiite - 11-23-2014 08:37 PM

One thing that boggles my mind about the Bakken is how much fucking natural gas they flare. Instead of building infrastructure there, they just burn all natural gas that evolves from the heavier hydrocarbons as the fluids are produced to surface and drop below bubble point pressure.

I suppose flaring CO2 instead of venting CH4 to atmosphere is better for the environment but I mean come on:
[Image: Bakken%20flaring.jpg]
The bigger crime against humanity here is all of the light ends you are burning off here, all of these lost hydrocarbons would add up to millions per year. Oil and gas is a precious finite resource!

Just goes to show the complete lack of regulation in the USA compared to Canada. This shit would lead to quick drilling bans up there.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Dr. Howard - 11-23-2014 09:09 PM

I love this shit. It diverts the attention of every hippie that cries over canadian clearcuts. Mining/Oil+gas takes the trees, the earth, the water and then pollutes them all...loggers just cut down trees and replant them.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Samseau - 11-23-2014 10:24 PM

I love it how the left pretends to care about the environment yet has no problems with overpopulating American cities with millions of immigrants (illegal or otherwise).

The article above is 100% political, I don't trust a single claim.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-23-2014 10:35 PM

(11-23-2014 10:24 PM)Samseau Wrote:  I love it how the left pretends to care about the environment yet has no problems with overpopulating American cities with millions of immigrants (illegal or otherwise).

The article above is 100% political, I don't trust a single claim.

NY Times does spew a lot of leftist crap. I am not a leftist. But after reading the article, I see nothing to suggest that it is anything but well researched.
I hate illegal immigration.
I also hate irresponsible resource extraction.
I don't see them as connected issues.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - komatiite - 11-24-2014 12:05 AM

Completely agree with Samseau regarding the leftist slant on this article. I dislike how the oil industry is demonized when spills happen. They sure as fuck don't want them to happen, it's a huge waste of money and you never want to see landowners lose their livelihood or workers get hurt. Just bad business. But in the words of Vonnegut, "So it goes."

Wish you would see the New York Times write a piece on how rare earth element mining absolutely lays waste to the environment but since these metals are used in iPhones and Hybrid Cars you will never get the attention of your typical Pumpkin Spice Latte Liberal.

But my statement on the Bakken natural gas situation still stands- God dammit, do something more useful with that natural gas instead of flaring it!


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Matt Forney - 11-24-2014 12:55 AM

What Samseau said.

I worked in the Bakken. There's shady nonsense going down there (as there is everywhere), but all the companies I worked with were anal about sticking to environmental regulations. Fuck, when I was digging trenches around the oil pipes, I had to wear a hazmat suit to keep contaminants from leaving the fracking sites.

The NYT and the leftist media have had it out for the Bakken since day one, because the jobs there enable men to pull down decent money without having to go to college, get indoctrinated by Marxist academics, and work for companies run by PC human resources flacks. Not only that, the jobs are strictly for men (though there are some women who work high-paid service jobs... and of course, strippers and prostitutes).

These SJWs hate anything that threatens the government-education complex, so they run attack pieces on the rising crime rate in Williston (still lower per capita than NYC, Chicago or any of the enlightened leftist metropolises they live in), the rising rape rate (ditto), the strained social services (what do you expect to happen in a boom town?) and more.

When I lived in North Dakota, I met reporters from Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the U.K., Australia... everywhere but the U.S. (exempting local news crews). The NYT and other coastal outlets base their North Dakota coverage entirely off hearsay and second-hand sources. Almost all of it is bullshit.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - DjembaDjemba - 11-24-2014 02:32 AM

Immigration and leftism has nothing to do with the oil fields. Connecting the two? You're out to lunch! Honestly...it's getting tiring ruining every thread with the same old repetitive garbage.

I work in tons of oil related projects, and the situation is more to do with the propensity of large companies to piss a good opportunity away. American regulations are also on the lax end of things. The US oil industry unfortunately gets away with quite a bit of environmental devastation because they can. The government pretends to give a shit, when it's in someone's backyard, but when eyes are turned they crap all over the environment.

I work with quite a few americans, and I've learned one thing from my experiences. The large US corporation really doesn't give a shit for anything other than paying off their shareholders and short term cash gains. So many companies seem to lack any clear long term visions, and goals. It's all feast or famine. This is just another episode of the same old corporate greed.

American companies are also cheap as fuck and do very little for their workers, I can imagine they do even less when it comes to the environment.

I'm sitting in a hotel here in northern Canada, in the middle of butt fuck nowhere. I sat through a 6 hour presentation about even something as small as a minor spill from my truck leaking because of an engine break. It's considered an "incident". It requires a write up, report, follow up, and formal clean up. This knowledge and information required just to get on a site. If anything is even spilled, I'll be looking at hours of paperwork and followup. My American acquaintances and colleagues are amazed. Judging by what companies do down south, I can see why.

And it's the 'tar sands' that considered dirty! What a joke. The oil industry is like the crack game. Make money, get experience, and get the fuck out. Because sooner or later that shit will catch up to you.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Cattle Rustler - 11-24-2014 02:51 AM

Thanks for derailing a thread about natural resources into immigration.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Sp5 - 11-24-2014 04:21 AM

(11-23-2014 08:37 PM)komatiite Wrote:  One thing that boggles my mind about the Bakken is how much fucking natural gas they flare. Instead of building infrastructure there, they just burn all natural gas that evolves from the heavier hydrocarbons as the fluids are produced to surface and drop below bubble point pressure.

I suppose flaring CO2 instead of venting CH4 to atmosphere is better for the environment but I mean come on:
[Image: Bakken%20flaring.jpg]
The bigger crime against humanity here is all of the light ends you are burning off here, all of these lost hydrocarbons would add up to millions per year. Oil and gas is a precious finite resource!

Just goes to show the complete lack of regulation in the USA compared to Canada. This shit would lead to quick drilling bans up there.

I don't know anything about oil spills in the Bakken, but that picture is astounding.

I'm a little familiar with the issue of gas flaring in another country, and what that picture tells me is that there is an egregious pursuit of short-term profits at the expense of long-term resource conservation and even a modest but sustained profit, because the well operators don't want to lower their current profits to make the capital investments required to capture the gas. The story of America today - nobody wants to lower short-term profits for long term capital investment.

I wonder what the value per diem of that gas is?


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Samseau - 11-24-2014 06:55 AM

(11-24-2014 02:32 AM)DjembaDjemba Wrote:  Immigration and leftism has nothing to do with the oil fields. Connecting the two? You're out to lunch!

Quote:I hate illegal immigration.
I also hate irresponsible resource extraction.
I don't see them as connected issues.

Really? You can't see the connection between the environment and overpopulation?

Now, my point isn't to stop immigration. My point is the hypocrisy of leftists who claim to be environmentalists yet support mass immigration which is just as bad as anything these oil fields produce, pollution wise.

The fact is most environmentalists are watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-24-2014 08:43 AM

(11-24-2014 06:55 AM)Samseau Wrote:  
(11-24-2014 02:32 AM)DjembaDjemba Wrote:  Immigration and leftism has nothing to do with the oil fields. Connecting the two? You're out to lunch!

Quote:I hate illegal immigration.
I also hate irresponsible resource extraction.
I don't see them as connected issues.

Really? You can't see the connection between the environment and overpopulation?

Now, my point isn't to stop immigration. My point is the hypocrisy of leftists who claim to be environmentalists yet support mass immigration which is just as bad as anything these oil fields produce, pollution wise.

The fact is most environmentalists are watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside.

I can. And there is definitely leftist hypocrisy on the immigration/environment front.
That still doesn't mean that any article about the environmental problems in the Bakken oil fields in the NY Times is a fabrication and that the oil companies aren't raping the environment while buying off state officials. I'm sure the numbers they use are accurate. Maybe they cherry pick the human interest stories a bit, but it says something when the Norwegian company spills a 1/3rd as much per gallon extracted as the American one.

Let's look at where we agree - illegal immigration is horrible.
It puts a strain on resources.
However, I think the big picture problem is religion. Lots of the illegal Mexican and central american immigrants are family focused Catholics.
All of these idiots out there think it's God's will for them to have 6 or 8 children.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - freeuser - 11-24-2014 09:15 AM

I also agree that we should not derail the discussion with argumentum ad hominem. Yes, we know that plenty of times, leftists are hypocrites. But do you have facts or ideas to refute what is mentioned in the article or not?


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Samseau - 11-24-2014 09:37 AM

(11-24-2014 09:15 AM)freeuser Wrote:  I also agree that we should not derail the discussion with argumentum ad hominem. Yes, we know that plenty of times, leftists are hypocrites. But do you have facts or ideas to refute what is mentioned in the article or not?

Honestly, the oil spill isn't the end of the world. It happened because of the 2011 snowstorm, which was the worst winter I've seen in my life. I spent 10 hours per week shoveling in New Hampshire. The snowbanks had to be shoveled down so we could pile more snow on the snowbanks. There were 50 ft snowbanks at Logan airport. Big as a small buildings, no joke.

These types of harsh environmental conditions are impossible to prepare well for. Mother nature can kill any of us no problem. We ultimately can only survive and handle certain conditions. And the amount of snow in 2011 was far beyond what normal men can handle.

I'm sure they've took the lessons into account to avoid such a disaster in the future, but extreme weather is one of the most difficult to anticipate events. Think of how Japan and Fukushima happened (also in 2011) and then you'll understand this.

As for the under-reporting - first off this is an allegation. Who the fuck knows if it's true, again, this article seems way too political to be trusted on these claims. Second, if the claims are true, then we need to know - was it deliberate hiding of info or incompetent fools who didn't try to measure its full extent?

If they were incompetent, then what is to be done? Get new workers? Isn't the demand and pay extremely high as it is? What else can they do?

If they were hiding info, it was probably to avoid looking poorly in the eyes of the public. That's understandable but still indefensible. Perhaps whoever hires these companies can sue them for breach of contract or replace them entirely.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - The Lizard of Oz - 11-24-2014 10:05 PM

(11-24-2014 12:55 AM)Matt Forney Wrote:  What Samseau said.

I worked in the Bakken. There's shady nonsense going down there (as there is everywhere), but all the companies I worked with were anal about sticking to environmental regulations. Fuck, when I was digging trenches around the oil pipes, I had to wear a hazmat suit to keep contaminants from leaving the fracking sites.

The NYT and the leftist media have had it out for the Bakken since day one, because the jobs there enable men to pull down decent money without having to go to college, get indoctrinated by Marxist academics, and work for companies run by PC human resources flacks. Not only that, the jobs are strictly for men (though there are some women who work high-paid service jobs... and of course, strippers and prostitutes).

These SJWs hate anything that threatens the government-education complex, so they run attack pieces on the rising crime rate in Williston (still lower per capita than NYC, Chicago or any of the enlightened leftist metropolises they live in), the rising rape rate (ditto), the strained social services (what do you expect to happen in a boom town?) and more.

When I lived in North Dakota, I met reporters from Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the U.K., Australia... everywhere but the U.S. (exempting local news crews). The NYT and other coastal outlets base their North Dakota coverage entirely off hearsay and second-hand sources. Almost all of it is bullshit.

Great post.

You should turn it into a ROK article:

Why "Progressives" Hate the American Oil Boom and the Men Who Work There


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - ElJefe - 11-24-2014 10:08 PM

There must be some kind of market inefficiency if they're just burning gas rather than selling it - it could be the rules against the US exporting energy.

Regulation is seldom necessary.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - komatiite - 11-24-2014 11:54 PM

SP that is a great question... No idea how much money they lose. I've seen stats saying 10 billion cubic feet per month but who knows how realistic that is. If it's true though who knows how much of these light ends are propane, butane and even pentane? That shit is valuable. These wells decline in production so rapidly because permeabilities in the Bakken dolomitic siltstone is nearly non-existent prior to fracking so it makes economic sense to just ignore the gas produced. I was working in the Denver Basin a while ago and we would actually shut in wells after fracking to restore reservoir pressures prior to production, which really helped prevent rapid decline rates. With more time and increased production maybe that would inspire gas capture but if it worked in the Bakken I'm sure guys a hell of a lot smarter than I am would have done that already.

East Coulee is the best field, and there aren't any major markets near there. Minneapolis, Regina... That's not exactly the Eastern Seaboard the Marcellus can service.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Sp5 - 11-25-2014 03:58 AM

(11-24-2014 11:54 PM)komatiite Wrote:  SP that is a great question... No idea how much money they lose. I've seen stats saying 10 billion cubic feet per month but who knows how realistic that is. If it's true though who knows how much of these light ends are propane, butane and even pentane? That shit is valuable. These wells decline in production so rapidly because permeabilities in the Bakken dolomitic siltstone is nearly non-existent prior to fracking so it makes economic sense to just ignore the gas produced. I was working in the Denver Basin a while ago and we would actually shut in wells after fracking to restore reservoir pressures prior to production, which really helped prevent rapid decline rates. With more time and increased production maybe that would inspire gas capture but if it worked in the Bakken I'm sure guys a hell of a lot smarter than I am would have done that already.

East Coulee is the best field, and there aren't any major markets near there. Minneapolis, Regina... That's not exactly the Eastern Seaboard the Marcellus can service.

The value of the flared gas appears to be roughly a million dollars a day:

250,000,000 cubic feet per day flared / $4 per 1000 cf price.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18451

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm

Mitsubishi makes gas compressors and liquefiers that could be placed at the wellhead, or among several wells connected by pipes. I don't know how small they can make the compressors for local pressurization into tanks rather than requiring pipelines. They will self-finance for a cut of the proceeds. Of course that presumes some economic viability.

DjembaDjemba above makes the point that so much gas flaring would not be allowed in Canada.

The regulatory environment might be tightening up:

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18451

Quote:The NDIC seeks to reduce the volume of flared gas, even if it means cutting back production at its largest oil production areas (the Bakken and Three Forks formations). The NDIC's order issued on July 1 said it will "consider amending...field rules to restrict oil production and/or impose such provisions as deemed appropriate to reduce the amount of flared gas." Recognizing the difficult economics of dealing with rapidly declining production from newly drilled wells, the NDIC's order allows for exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

The mineral rights owners are suing the oil companies over the flaring:

http://www.ndgasflaringlitigation.com/

Quote: Bismarck, ND October 16, 2013

Today North Dakota mineral owners filed ten class action lawsuits in North Dakota state district court against oil companies operating in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield, seeking damages for natural gas flared – or burnt off into the atmosphere – from oil wells in violation of state flaring laws. Copies of the complaints filed are available at http://www.ndgasflaringlitigation.com

The named plaintiffs and the class members they seek to represent in each case are western North Dakota mineral rights owners who potentially have lost millions of dollars in royalties due to producers’ practice of burning off large quantities of gas rather than selling it. The lawsuits seek to force operators to comply with state law and pay royalties to mineral owners on the value of flared gas, and by so doing create a compelling economic incentive for producers to reduce and eliminate the wasteful practice of flaring. Bakken natural gas is some of the most valuable gas in the country due to its density of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

I'm sure part of the flaring is because of economic impossibility, but also because of unwillingness to invest long-term rather than pursue higher immediate quarterly profits.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Cattle Rustler - 11-25-2014 04:13 AM

Always remember, companies will bribe via lobbyists and start a media war on how "Obummer wants to regulate us to death and this is a prime example!".


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-25-2014 06:56 AM

(11-24-2014 10:08 PM)ElJefe Wrote:  There must be some kind of market inefficiency if they're just burning gas rather than selling it - it could be the rules against the US exporting energy.

Regulation is seldom necessary.

Regulation is seldom necessary if you the producer/owner.

If you are a consumer, it's a different story.

Example 1: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Example 2: China


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - Sp5 - 11-25-2014 11:40 AM

(11-24-2014 10:08 PM)ElJefe Wrote:  There must be some kind of market inefficiency if they're just burning gas rather than selling it - it could be the rules against the US exporting energy.

Regulation is seldom necessary.

They're polluting "the commons" by burning gas rather than trapping it.

Pollution of the commons is a good reason for regulation.

In Canada, they're not allowed, in the USA, they are.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - scotian - 11-25-2014 12:37 PM

I wonder if all of the Hollywood protesters who trash the oil sands (Leo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Darryl Hannah, etc) will be visiting ND anytime soon? I won't hold my breath.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-25-2014 12:47 PM

(11-25-2014 12:37 PM)scotian Wrote:  I wonder if all of the Hollywood protesters who trash the oil sands (Leo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, Darryl Hannah, etc) will be visiting ND anytime soon? I won't hold my breath.

They might, traveling there by private jet.
But why do we have to choose between far left hypocrites and far right/rightist hypocrites?
Both groups are very self interested.
There is a middle of the way sensible approach.
Recognize that we all use and demand oil as a basic part of modern life, and that the oil industry creates a lot of good paying jobs for people that work hard.
Recognize that regulations are necessary because otherwise companies will race to the bottom competing against each other, and cut corners at the expense of a common public good, the environment.
Recognize that regulations created by people without a conflict of interest are best.
Recognize that unless regulations are enforced by punishments, they mean nothing.


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - IvanDrago - 11-25-2014 02:55 PM

Not on topic or informed in any way but I couldn't help myself after seeing that image of the guy testing the soil above.

[Image: voszv9.jpg]


RE: Lies, Corruption, and Environmental Devastation in North Dakota Bakken Fields - VolandoVengoVolandoVoy - 11-25-2014 03:05 PM

(11-25-2014 02:55 PM)IvanDrago Wrote:  Not on topic or informed in any way but I couldn't help myself after seeing that image of the guy testing the soil above.

[Image: voszv9.jpg]

Lol. Love the profile name too. Drago! Drago! Drago!