MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - As a surge in fracking operations continues across the United States, drillers’ reactions to those opposing the controversial process range from striking a compromise to stubbornly ignoring all complaints, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
“When your oilfield is intermingled with 250,000 people, it’s increasingly important to take into account the neighborhood, the church and the school,” Alex Hohmann, an Anadarko Petroleum Corporation engineer who previously constructed wells now leading a team focused on dealing with community relations, said.
An Anadarko drilling site in Colorado represents a more sensitive approach to concerned residents and policymakers, according to Bloomberg. So far, the Colorado site near Dacono has hidden its floodlights and diesel engines behind hay bales, carefully recycled its toxic wastewater, and reduced trucks and tanks in some areas to 50 from 400 in 2011, Bloomberg reported. Open communication between local communities and the company earned Anadarko a deal from Colorado state officials allowing its continued operations in the area.
On the other hand, many companies continue to ignore locals, Cathy McMullen, a resident of Denton, Texas, where wells were drilled by a park near her home, said. “As far as the industry goes in Texas, there is no give and take. There is just we give, and they take,” she said.
In Denton, companies continue late-night drilling and place wells close to locals’ homes. According to Bloomberg, Eagle Ridge Energy set up fracking operations some 187 feet from the backyard of locals in a Denton subdivision in 2013. Since then, Denton has required new wells to be located at least 1,200 feet away from homes, but allows companies to continue drilling wells in sites that have existed prior to new regulations.
Denton residents have reacted to the situation by launching a campaign drafting a fracking ban to be voted on on November 4, Bloomberg reported.
According to the Post Carbon Institute, some 63,000 shale oil wells and shale gas wells are located across the United States, mostly concentrated in Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana and the eastern Marcellus Shale region.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique for recovering gas and oil from shale rock by drilling down into the ground and injecting water, sand and chemicals into the rock at high pressures, releasing gas to the head of the well.