Hydraulic fracturing "fracking" is a means of natural gas extraction
employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled,
millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are
injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the
shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow
freely out of the well.
This form of gas production - "fracking" - has not been proven to be safe for communities or the environment, is inappropriately regulated, and most importantly, is not right for North Carolina.
As you read below and learn more, please
feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. It's a
complicated process but we're happy to help you understand how to protect yourself and your community from this harmful practice.
(By the way, thanks for the succinct definition we used above, GASLAND)
About NC's underground natural gas resources:
There are two shale basins in NC that are believed to be capable of
producing enough natural gas to power the state for 40 years.
14 NC counties could be affected by fracking: Stokes, Rockingham,
Granville, Orange, Durham, Chatham, Wake, Lee, Moore, Richmond,
Montgomery, Anson, Davie and Yadkin.
The geologic "Durham Sub-basin" includes portions of the Upper Neuse River Basin.
You can find more information and scientific data about NC shales in the
USGS publication "Hydrocarbon Source Rocks in the Deep River and Dan
River Triassic Basins, North Carolina" that can be accessed at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1108/ofr2008-1108.pdf
As you learn about how fracking has impacted other communities and
compare those experiences to our situation, please remember that our
geology is most similar to that of the areas in Pennsylvania that have
been fracked - not like some of the areas in Texas with thick rock confining layers on top of the gas-producing layers. We live on the equivalent
of a rock rice-krispy treat (Piedmont rock formations) so our groundwater and surface
water interact constantly and it will be difficult to determine whether drilling operations in NC will impact our waters.
About oil and gas company leases:
Mineral leases are legal contracts that typically have
an upfront “signing bonus” (very low in NC compared to TX or PA) plus
“royalties” (~12.5%) if/when the property has a well installed
9,000+ acres of land has already been leased in NC, despite the fact that NC laws currently do not allow horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing
Just like in many of the leases the NY Times reviewed, many NC leases our partners have reviewed contain predatory provisions like requiring landowner to assume costs of construction, liability for damage to other property or resources, use of landowner’s well for water supply. You can find a presentation on this issue as it relates to our communities on Clean Water for North Carolina's website at http://www.cwfnc.org/documents/Predatory-Mineral-Rights-Leases.pdf
The video GASLAND is
a good resource to understand the impact to the daily life of families
that rely on well water. This feature-length film is widely available
from services like Netflix but you can also find local screenings by
About Fracking and Surface Water:
For surface-water users like Raleigh and surrounding areas, water
quantity and the quality of the fracking fluid backflow are the primary
Fracking is VERY water intensive (1-8 million gallons per well per
"frack") – in an area that already experiences drought it could directly
compete with homeowners and other existing industry for water
If the waste is not taken off site for treatment and left in pits or
land-applied on-site as it has been in other places those areas may not
be able to grown crops or safely host developed uses again for
FrackAction—building a movement to ban fracking. Based in NY, Frack Action is engaged in a long-term campaign to protect our water, air and public health from the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing.
ShaleTest—working to protect communities face with fracking. Started by DISH, TX’s Calvin Tillman, this non-proﬁt will collect environmental data, and provide environmental testng to lower income families and neighborhoods that are eﬀected by natural gas exploration.