Dont miss former House Regulated Industries Committee chairman Phil Kings outlook for the Texas Oil & Gas Industry its future impact on the State Budget and more.In fact I saw the other day that but for this explosion in the oil & gas industry America would not have had an economic recovery. If you take all the jobs from the oil and gas industry and back them out of the job growth that has occurred from the 2008 recession though today we would still be at a negative standing nationally in job growth. And that has all come really out of four states - Texas North Dakota Ohio and Pennsylvania King said. Weve all heard people from across the country ask So whats the big deal down in Texas? Well aside from the fact that we are rewriting geo-politics aside from the fact that we are going to make the United States energy independent aside from the fact that you have probably $50 billion dollars in new petro-chemical plant construction going on or about to start down along the Texas coast ... it would never have happened but for all this natural gas that we are now able to cheaply produce because of new fracking and horizontal drilling technologies King tells Insiders Jim Cardle. Weve been fracking wells for 50-plus years which is where you go down and inject water sand and pressure to break up rocks so that oil & gas can flow out said King. The oil & gas boom were experiencing in Texas is the result of the marriage of both old and new technologies and horizontal drilling where you can drill down a mile and then go out (horizontally) a mile and frack all along the way to release the oil & gas that we could never get to before. Curious Dallas-Ft. Worth Dynamics Over the past year particularly from about November 2013 through January of 2014 we all of a sudden had a rash of seismic events (in the Ft. Worth-Tarrant and Denton Counties area) or small earthquakes on the Richter Scale ranging from the 2s or the 1s to I think 3.7 on the high end. Theoretically they dont do damage until theyre in the 4s but at the same time if you have too many of them that is a concern said King. There is a lot of confusion about fracking ... but everyone on the environmental side the industry side everyone agrees that fracking itself has nothing to do with seismic activity. And let me first say you do need strong regulation and the Railroad Commission does a very good job of that ... but if past behavior is the predictor of future behavior 100s of 1000s of wells and never a groundwater contamination. It just doesnt happen because regulation prevents it noted King. But the concern out of Denton is that youre going to contaminate our groundwater by doing this fracking. Specifically you are fracking at maybe 7500 feet 8000 or 6000 feet (in the Tarrant-Denton County areas) and the groundwater is at two three 4000 feet (underground) and their concern is that somehow you are going to have some bleed-over or you will have a pipe rupture or something.
All I can tell you is this; there have been 100s of 1000s of wells fracked and there has not been a single incident in Texas and none that I know of outside of Texas where you have had groundwater contamination King said. And remember industry doesnt want it to happen either. Its just part of the continued efforts I think by the folks who want to put an end to the use of fossil fuels.Weve actually got a first of its kind election going on in the city of Denton and Denton County where theyre trying to ban hydraulic fracking which is interesting because there is actually little-to-no drilling going on right now in north Texas because of the market the price of natural gas and the specific type of natural gas you get out of the wells in that area said King. So our House Seismic Committee which the Speaker formed was tasked to try to figure it all out. What they found was that when you fack a well you inject maybe 4 6 or 7 million gallons of water and it comes back filled with oil sand some chemicals ... its dirty stuff. And youve got to do something with that. Oil and gas wells also produce water for their whole life and what has been done very safely for decades is to drill a very deep hole to create what is called a Salt Water Disposal Well. There was some concern that this cluster of salt water disposal wells (in the Tarrant County area) was causing these small earthquakes King says. What we have done is get the scientific community the oil and gas industry the environmental community and concerned citizens together ... and just a few weeks ago the Railroad Commission came out with some new rules (proposals for) governing salt water disposal wells. They (the Railroad Commission) have hired a seismologist which they had never had before and this appears to be one of those rare times when government is working the way it is supposed to work. The environment community seems to be pleased with the proposed regs the oil & gas industry seems to be pleased with the proposed regs the scientific community seems to be accepting of them ... and we are in a comment period now where they are soliciting input and there is input coming in. I think its one of those rare instances where everyone came to the table and worked out an agreement King said. There is going to be some more study and there is some strong suspicion that in some very unique geologies that are not statewide that there could be some relation between these seismic activities and salt water disposal wells where basically the Railroad Commission will be able to deal with that issue now when it occurs. King said in closing.