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Indian Gas Well Fire Shows The Advantage Of Fracking

A gas well has lit up in India and there’s a certain scramble to put that fire out. Red Adair not being with us any more others are having to step into the breach. All of which shows the advantage of fracking as a fossil fuel extraction method:

A massive fire has broken out at an oil field in north-eastern India, after gas that had been leaking for two weeks ignited, sending plumes of smoke and flames into the sky, and reportedly setting fire to nearby homes.

Five deaths in the area are being investigated for potential links to the gas well, which has been leaking “uncontrollably” for two weeks, according to Oil India, the state-owned company managing the oil field.

The gas well at the oil field, in Baghjan in the Tinsukia district of Assam state, started leaking in late May, the company said.

This is, of course, a conventional well. Which means that we’ve gone and found some admixture of oil and gas trapped into a reservoir and under immense pressure. Drill a hole in the top of the reservoir and the pressure own there means stuff flows out the top. It’s very difficult indeed, once the hole is made, to stop the stuff flowing too – high pressure means high pressure.

Fracking is different, in that there isn’t the reservoir to start with and therefore there isn’t the pressure either. We have to deliberately go fracture the rock to gain the flow and it doesn’t some at great pressure. It’s also true that a fracked well produces in volume only for a short while. The long tail or production is a trickle – one that adds up sure, but not the sort of surge being seen here.

So, one of the advantages of fracking – we don’t get blow outs. Isn’t new technology wondrous?

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4 years ago

Clever reasoning. In 2020 there is no reason why a well leaks uncontrollably or any other way for two weeks. One never hears of Red Adair or Boots and Coots anymore because their services are no longer needed in the modern oil patch.

4 years ago

We have played out the finds that are under great pressure, and India has not. Granting that fracking is safer and the current problem wouldn’t occur, India has no great reason to renounce oil that leaps out of the ground for oil that doesn’t.

4 years ago

I’m sure the Indians could find some shales to frack if they really tried.

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