|Oil extracting technology continues to ruin the rugged beauty of South Texas|
Top Photo: An oil worker walks past the manifold (right) and frac pumps (left) at a Chesapeake Energy hydraulic fracturing operation near Carrizo Springs, Texas on Thursday May 5, 2011. (Photo: John Davenport/San Antonio Express-News
From Fuel Fix.com
On a recent day near Catarina in Dimmit County, Chesapeake was fracking a well with the help of seven different contractors.
The air throbbed from the din of 18 trucks, most pumping the water mixture down the hole. Sand gushed down a chute from trucks that had rumbled up to deliver 45,000 pounds of sand each.
Fracking usually continues in stages, with some wells fracked as many as 20 times. Chesapeake planned to frack the Dimmit well in 18 stages along the horizontal. The fracking operation was expected to last from three to five days, with the work starting at 6 a.m. and ending about 9 p.m.
“The technology to do this just wasn’t available 10 years ago,” said Glen Foster, a senior completion foreman for Chesapeake. “The drilling fluids and the quality of the drill bits have made the difference.”
When fracking is completed, the pumping trucks go away. Then a network of valves is installed at the wellhead — known as a “Christmas tree” — that regulates the well’s flow. The oil and gas then goes to storage tanks or a pipeline and on to a refinery or processing plant.