Chickashanews.com

SCOOP

August 21, 2013

Fracking In Spotlight in Texas as Ample Oil, No Water

(Continued)

CHICKASHA —

“If you're going to develop the oil, you've got to have the water,” said Larry Baxter, a contractor from the nearby town of Mertzon, who installed two frack tanks on his land earlier this year, hoping to make a business out of his well selling water to oil industry.

By his own estimate, his well could produce enough to fill up 20 or 30 water trucks for the oil industry each day. At $60 a truck, that was $36,000 a month, easily. “I could sell 100 truckloads a day if I was open to it,” Baxter said.

He rejected the idea there should be any curbs on selling water during the drought. “People use their water for food and fiber. I choose to use my water to sell to the oil field,” he said. “Who's taking advantage? I don't see any difference.”

Barnhart remained dry for five days last month before local work crew revived an abandoned railway well and started pumping again. But residents fear it is just a temporary fix and that next time it happens they won't have their own wells to fall back on. “My well is very very close to going dry,” said Kuykendall.

So what is a town like Barnhart to do? Fracking is a powerful drain on water supplies. In adjacent Crockett county, fracking accounts for up to 25 percent of water use, according to the groundwater conservation district. But Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, argues fracking is not the only reason Texas is going dry — and nor is the drought. The latest shocks to the water system come after decades of overuse by ranchers, cotton farmers, and fast-growing thirsty cities.

“We have large urban centers sucking water out of west Texas to put on their lands. We have a huge agricultural community, and now we have fracking which is also using water,” she said. And then there is climate change.

Text Only
SCOOP
  • Council approves more searches for oil, natural gas

    Searches for more oil and gas deposits in town can begin after Chickasha City Council struck a land use agreement with a third party.

    July 11, 2014

  • DSC_0916.JPG Local organization discussed oil and gas developments

    Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy spoke about the oil and gas industry in the state during a meeting of the Grady County Mineral Owners Association Thursday.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • tds052214obamamain_photo Fracking debate follows Obama

    Critics of fracking planned to greet President Obama with signs and protests during his stop in upstate New York on Thursday. Obama might see some supporters of the practice, as well.

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos 2 Stories

  • SOHOT.jpg Tulsa energy company finds SCOOP to be SOHOT

    Interest in energy excavation in Grady County continues to rise, after Tulsa based UNIT Corporation released an earnings call transcript detailing the company's local work

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Recent unemployment report shows prosperous Grady County

    Help wanted signs are popping up all over Chickasha and Grady County recently. 

    May 3, 2014

  • Oil warehouse to open in Chickasha

    Oklahoma City-based oil field chemical company Energy and Environmental Services will open a warehouse in Chickasha in the next month.

    April 30, 2014

  • Coast Guard wants barges to ship fracking water

    The U.S. Coast Guard wants to allow barges filled with fracking wastewater to ply the nation's rivers on their way toward disposal. Many environmentalists are horrified, but industry groups say barge transport has its advantages.

    December 19, 2013

  • Beyond fracking: University of Wyoming scientists look for ways to boost oil and gas production

    Terms like horizontal drilling and “fracking,” as hydraulic fracturing is commonly referred to, are well known now. The two technologies have sent U.S. energy production soaring in recent years, as previously inaccessible reservoirs of oil and gas have been unlocked in places like North Dakota, Pennsylvania and New York.

    December 18, 2013

  • More oil and gas drillers turn to water recycling

     When the rain stopped falling in Texas, the prairie grass yellowed, the soil cracked and oil drillers were confronted with a crisis. After years of easy access to cheap, plentiful water, the land they prized for its vast petroleum wealth was starting to dry up.

    November 14, 2013

  • OERB web.tiff Industry funded nonprofit cleans abandoned sites

    The energy industry has changed somewhat dramatically over the last two decades. During the boom in the '80s, regulation was scarce and energy companies left behind machinery and concrete slabs in the wake of their excavating. 
    Since 1993 the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has been working diligently to make amends for the environmental damage done during this era, and 20 years later OERB has managed to clean up 13,000 well sites across the state including 53 in Grady County. 

    October 16, 2013 1 Photo