Ewart: Comedy of errors on frack job no laughing matter

Ewart: Comedy of errors on frack job no laughing matter.

Hydraulic fracturing fingered in oil well blowout

Hydraulic fracturing fingered in oil well blowout.

Fluids spew from oil well – Alberta

 Fluids spew from oil well [comment:  more by the Alta Surface Rights
Group, below and at http://www.albertasurfacerights.com/


By Advocate staff
Published: January 14, 2012 2:24 PM
Cleanup and investigation are underway on an oilfield accident that
officials thought was impossible.

Late Friday afternoon, Norm Waters was coming home from work in
Innisfail when he saw a plume of fluids spewing from the pump jack on
a oilwell near his farm, about 800 metres southwest of the point where
the Red Deer River flows into Gleniffer Lake.

Just over the hill from the well, operated by Calgary-based Wild
Stream Exploration, a crew from Canyon Well Services had been
conducting a hydraulic frac on a different oilwell, on behalf of
Midway Energy.

It appears early in the investigation that fluid from the Midway
Energy frac entered the Wild Stream well bore and created pressure in
the well, said Darin Barter.

Fluid recovered from the scene contained a mixture of nitrogen,
fracking oil and sand, said Barter.

ERCB and company officials are trying to determine if and how fluid
from one well bore was able to enter another.

[comment:  what bogus! ERCB and OGC, and industry KNOW that frac
communication events have been occurring for years, many in alberta!
ERCB summarized many frac communication events in their shale review
paper, released early 2011]

The farmer whose land was affected by the spill was away from home at
the time.

? Copyright . All rights reserved.

comment by jess – i dont think this article is up on the paper’s
website yet

Central Alberta’s leading online news source — www.reddeeradvocate.com
Blowout stirs questions
The blowout of a oil well during a frac job on a neighbouring well in
Red Deer County on Friday is raising nervous questions among rural

Norman Waters had just arrived home from work in Innisfail at 5 p.m.
on Friday when be noticed a plume of black fluid spewing from a pump
jack operating part way up a hill in his neighbour’s field, located
less than one kilometre southwest of the point where the Red Deer
River flows into the Gleniffer Lake reservoir.

On the other side of the hill, a crew from Canyon Technical Services
was conducting a hydraulic frac in a well operated by Calgary-based
Midway Energy Ltd.

Waters drove to the site and asked them to shut down the frac.

He then started calling emergency numbers, including the one for
Wildstream Exploration, the Calgary-based company whose well was
spewing fluid.

Both wells are now shut down, preliminary investigation and cleanup
are nearly complete and a thorough investigation was to start this
morning, said Darin Barter, a communications official with the Energy
Resources Conservation Board.

The first priority was to get the flow stopped and clean up the site,
Barter said on Sunday.

With that done, the ERCB and the companies involved are now trying to
determine exactly what went wrong.

Early examination of the spilled fluid indicates a mix of oil,
nitrogen and frac sand, said Barter.

However, the investigation has just begun, so there is possibility
that other findings may contradict any assumptions made in the
beginning, he said.

Both wells will remain shut in while investigators determine how
pressurized fluid from the frac was able to breach the Wildstream well
bore and whether or where miscalculations were made during the
drilling and servicing processes. It will also determine if changes
need to be made in the regulations governing those processes, said

Frozen ground has been a benefit to the site cleanup, preventing the
spilled fluid from seeping into the soil while no fluid made it to the
river, he said.

Professional engineer Shane Peet, chief operating officer for Midway,
said the fracking crew was in stage 15 of a 16-stage frac on his
company’s well when it appears to have “communicated with” the
Wildstream well at a depth of 1,850 metres.

Peet believes that pressure from the frac drove reserves in
Wildstream’s well up to the surface, along with fracking sand and fluids.

Costs of the investigation itself are part of the job for government
employees, said Barter.

Midway will be responsible for cleanup costs and damages, including
compensation to the landowner, said Peet.

Waters said he also called retired oilfield engineer Don Bester,
president of the Alberta Surface Rights Group, because he wanted to
know his rights as a landowner in relation to the spill, even though
it occurred in his neighbour’s pasture.

Bester and other members of the group visited and photographed the
site on Saturday morning.

The big issue for landowners is the potential for hydraulic fracking
to damage the fresh water aquifers from which they draw their water,
Bester said on Sunday.

Midway’s well bore would not likely have connected with Wildstream’s
bore, but that there could be natural fractures within the formation
that would have allowed the pressure from fracking one well to blow
out the other, he said.

However, he wonders how many similar spills have gone unreported
because they are held within the sites of the companies running the
fracs and are therefore not brought to the public’s attention.

“If these companies can’t control these fracs, what is the potential
to destroy a complete aquifer? We’re not convinced that these fracs
will stay in the formation that they were intended to frac.”

Destroying an aquifer would destroy fresh water sources for hundreds
of farmers, said Bester.

“What are we doing here, really? What are we doing?” he said.

Bester also said he also has questions about whether the plume sprayed
over the bank and into the river.

“When you can see oil dripping from the trees, you know d..n well what
happened over the bank.”

He and his companions did not go to the river because they would have
had to cross private property without permission.


Hydro Frack Blows Out a Producing Oil Well at Innisfail Alberta

/Hydro Frack, west of Innisfail , Alberta blows out an oil well ? of a
mile away./

*Hydro Frack Blows Out an Oil Well!*

On January 13^th , 2012 a producing oil well owned by Wildstream
Exploration blew out southwest of Innisfail Alberta. Three quarters of a
mile away Midway Energy was hydro fracking a horizontal well that from
preliminary information looks like it ran horizontally very close to the
oil well.

The farmer who first spotted the blow out reported there was a fountain
of crude shooting about thirty feet above the pump jack. He phoned the
ERCB emergency hot line but got no answer! He then quickly contacted
Wildstream Exploration and went up to the Midway frack site and got the
frack shut down. Unable to get any response from the ERCB, he then
phoned Don Bester of the Alberta Surface Rights Group. Bester was able
to contact the ERCB. Some of our board members went out there and did a
field inspection (thus the pictures).

It appears the oil misted over a large portion of the surrounding land
as the snow had a yellowish/brown tinge to it. Some oil misted into the
tree line to the south of the well. Cats were piling the snow and it was
being hauled away in gravel trucks.

A large pool of oil was being vacuumed up, with more being contained by
a  berm at a lower level than can be seen in the picture.

It is not certain what actually happened and the ERCB, say they are
investigating! The ERCB gave a press release implying the spill is
fracking fluid, no mention of crude oil…..which makes one wonder if
they have even been out there?…….it is definitely crude …..we were

It is possible when they ramped up the pressure, the fracking
fluids blasted through the rock into the oil well zone, putting so much
pressure on the oil pool that it blew the well out? It is important that
the ERCB gets to the bottom of this accident. They have always told us
this couldn’t possibly happen!

It appears they were wrong?

Maybe this “world class regulator” really doesn’t know very much after all?

If the frack fluids can rupture into another zone bearing oil, why
wouldn’t it do the same thing in an aquifier? With the new well spacing
rules for hydro fracking (October, 2011) , these type of wrecks could
become a regular occurence!

Is it time for some real regulations and a real regulator?

ASRG <http://www.albertasurfacerights.com/articles/?id=1534>

*The hydro-fracked well details from the ERCB website: *



DATE: 16 November 2011

DRILLING OPERATION                  WELL PURPOSE             WELL



MIDWAY HZ GARR 3-9-35-3                      0438991 FREEHOLD 990.5M
100/03-09-035-03W5/00 N  113.0M  E    470.6M RED DEER 3500.0M
DEV (NC)                                              GARRINGTON
HORIZONTAL                                         NEW PRODUCTION
MIDWAY ENERGY LTD. 03-16-035-03W5

Hydro-fracked well SW16-35-3-W5M

Hydro-frack well SW16-35-3-W5M

Oil well where the frack blew out

Frack communication blow out; cat piling contaminated snow

400 m from well; maximum reach of oil approximately 400 m

Oil and frac fluid being vacuumed up

Oil and frack fluid spray reached trees

Truck hauling out contaminated soil