Honesty? Beyond Our Ken?
You might be forgiven for thinking that Ken Wilkinson would want to draw a veil over his embarrassing performance at the Harrogate debate, but no, his friend the Rambling Reverend has placed the entire text of Ken’s debate speech up on his vanity blog, and then publicised the fact on the Backing Fracking Facebook page, where he appears to have access to the admin account.
We duly paid the text a visit, and added the following comment.
We were actually surprised that the vituperative vicar was, at least temporarily, honest enough to take up our challenge. Of course, very shortly afterwards Ken himself responded telling me:
The EA will not permit flowback to be disposed of by injection. Page 46 of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545924/LIT_10495.pdf
You appear to not understand the difference between flowback water and produced water. There is no ‘produced water ‘ from a shale gas well. That is because there is no interstitial water. Produced water occurs at places like Wytch Farm. That is covered on Page 44.
and finally that:
Sand is almost entirely silica dioxide. As such it is EXACTLY the same stuff as you get on most beaches. It will be taken from sand quarries and sifted/washed maybe but its sand. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand
Now this is classic Ken – when his lies are questioned, he tends to respond by citing a source which doesn’t in fact say what he claims it does – he did exactly the same when cornered on the bonds for abandonment issue a while back.
As all this is what we non-scientists call “a load of old bollocks“, I responded thus:
Well Ken, I’m pretty sure you referred to “waste water” at Harrogate, but maybe you’d like to let us all see the video you recorded on your Go Pro so we can all check for ourselves? Are you planning on putting it on YouTube for us?
You state categorically in your response that “The EA will not permit flowback to be disposed of by injection. Page 46 of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545924/LIT_10495.pdf”
Oh really? Except the EA don’t say that do they. What Page 46 of https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545924/LIT_10495.pdf actually says (as I told you when you tried to mislead the audience about this at the debate) is:
“The re-injection of flowback fluid for disposal is not necessarily prohibited and may be permissible where, for example, it is injected back into formations from which hydrocarbons have been extracted”
So it appears that even with the leisure of being able to check the document you pretended to be waving around at Harrogate you still choose to mislead people about what it actually says.
And then you say: “You appear to not understand the difference between flowback water and produced water. There is no ‘produced water ‘ from a shale gas well. That is because there is no interstitial water. Produced water occurs at places like Wytch Farm. That is covered on Page 44.”
Well now Ken – you are putting me in a bind here – who do I believe? You or the US EPA who state at “https://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/hydraulic-fracturing-water-cycle” “After the drilling and fracturing of the well are completed, water is produced along with the natural gas. Some of this water is returned fracturing fluid and some is natural formation water. These produced waters move back through the wellhead with the gas.”
And here is CIWEM talking about produced water from fracking “Management of flowback and produced water: Flowback and produced water are the waters which flow back up the well following the hydraulic fracturing process. Water initially collected from the well after hydraulic fracturing which contains a high proportion of hydraulic fracturing fluids is often called flowback, any formation water returning to the surface is referred to as produced water. In practice it may be difficult to distinguish between the two so the waters are collectively referred to as returned waters.”
Given the difficulty alluded to above it will be interesting to see how the EA define the differences in practice won’t it?
Anyway – have you explained to these august bodies that they are wrong and that there is no such thing as produced water from a shale gas well Ken? When you’ve done that you can explain your point to Chesapeake Energy as well. They seem to think they have had to deal with produced water from fracking into shale. Indeed they seem to have wasted quite a bit of time on this non-existent produced water from 2 of their shale gas wells and writing presentations for the EPA about it! What were they thinking of? https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/comparisonofhffluidscompositionwithproducedformationwater.pdf
And then we have your non-answer to my point about your lie about the sand – “Sand is almost entirely silica dioxide. As such it is EXACTLY the same stuff as you get on most beaches. It will be taken from sand quarries and sifted/washed maybe but its sand. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand”
OK – so sand is is almost entirely silica dioxide – nobody is saying the sand used in fracking is not silica dioxide. It was your silly claim that the sand used in fracking could be found on any beach which was so misleading. There is even a BS specification “The current specification for proppants used in fracking in the UK is the British Standard (BS) European (EN) International Standards Organisation (ISO): 13503-2:2006 + A1:2009 Petroleum and natural gas industries. Completion fluids and materials. Measurement of properties of proppants used in fracking and gravel-packing operations. ”
As such there are a limited number of sources for frac quality sand in the UK as stated here:
“UK frac sand sources: Silica sand in the UK is currently produced for several different end markets, such as glass, ceramics, foundry, water filtration and horticulture. In 2012, a total of 3.9m tonnes silica sand was produced in the UK from 39 silica sand workings. However, not all of these workings contain sand of the right specification for fracking. The silica sand product that is the closest equivalent to frac sand, in terms of its composition and physical properties, is foundry sand. Frac sand and foundry sand are both composed of high-purity silica sand (greater than 98-99% SiO2), consisting of well rounded, spherical sand grains with a narrow particle size distribution.” http://www.indmin.com/Article/3453980/Strict-specifications-UK-frac-sand-potential.html
As far as I am aware Ken not one of the sources for sand of this quality is from any beach, but I am sure, that if that is not the case you will be able to provide at least one example. Good luck!
Rather than engaging with the debate that Ken started with his statements, the reply was deleted twice by the vaudeville vicar and when I posted it a third time the whole thread relating to waste water disposal and sand was deleted (along with a few other awkward questions like “Why did you claim that Ken was opposed by Ian Crane when he was actually opposed by John Plummer?” and “What exactly are you ‘peddling’ on this page titled ‘Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin’?“).
From this I think we can easily deduce that Clockwork Ken and Mad Rev were both unable to support either Ken’s original statements or his subsequent attempts to justify them with any facts and felt it better to delete the whole thread than to continue to defend what was clearly intentional misinformation from Ken.
The fact that this is how supporters of fracking approach the debate is a major factor in determining the way the public responds to the industry. A bit more honesty and a less dissimulation would be a good thing for them, but it seems that we are unlikely to get that from the OAP tag team.
It really does seem that being truthful about the issues is quite beyond our Ken.