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US TO BE MIRRORED IN THE UK The fracking industry is well along ameteoric path across the US where the country is

The Green River Formation in the US has, potentially, 3trillion barrels of oil -three times more oil than the world has consumed in the past 100 years.

forecast to become the biggest oil producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia, by 2017

It has already edged ahead of Russia as the biggest natural gas producer

Fracking is not only creating bonanzas for countries fortunate to have vast shale deposits which trap oil and gas, it's also allowing old, formerly tapped out oil fields to give up vast amounts of oil that was formerly not economically recoverable by conventional methods.

In simplistic terms, fracking is the high pressure pumping of acocktail of chemicals deep into rock formations and forcing them to open up with the resultant minute gaps stopped open with grains of sand carried by the liquids that can include avariety of acids such as hydro- chloric, sulphuric and formic, as well as ammonia persulfate as found in hair bleach.

The FracShield dual

coating system, produced by Castagra, is exceeding the average lifetime of conventional epoxies

which average an eight month lifespan

One major well can use up to 6million gallons of water and the process results in huge quantities of wastewater that can require significant post treatment if it is not dumped in very deep waste reservoirs such as old mine workings. When tran- sported in surface road tanker lorries, the liquids have been known to corrode through poorly protected steel within minutes.

In 2011, the top four oil services companies in the US spent over $2 billion on research and development, with alarge proportion being spent on developing greener solutions for the basic process and liquids being use. Halliburton has developed CleanStim, an enzyme based process based on fruit and vegetable compounds.

The oil and gas industry has, and will continue to face opposition from environmental groups concerned about the groundwater resources and even the potential fracking has to stimulate seismic activity as has been experienced in the UK where large populations exist over the prime UK Lancastrian gas shale play.

The UK is sitting on apotential 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas worth about £1.5 trillion. Worldwide technically recoverable gas is about 16,000 trillion cubic feet.

Fully exploited, the shale gas reserves would give the UK natural gas independence for 50 years, and

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create at least 5,000 jobs. The geo-political significance is enormous, particularly as one views Europe currently with the ‘PIIGS’ (Portugal, Italy,Ireland, Greece and Spain), in such dire financial states, as well as the reliance on Russia not to turn off the gas tap.

Although fracking has been around since the 1860s, it is in its infancy in the UK.This ‘green and pleasant land’ with its very strict planning and development regulations and ‘green belt’ areas, is rapidly waking up to the potential its shale gas can do long term for the nation’s horrendous debt load and overall economic and political aspirations in aEurope now dominated by the German powerhouse.

Castagra CEO,Peter Roosen, observed “The oil and gas industry is not paying lip service to the need for more environmentally benign practices in fracking.Weare experiencing considerable demand for our veggie plastic coatings, including our FracShield System for protecting tanks, and fracking wastewater road tankers.”

The FracShield dual coating system is exceeding the average lifetime of conventional epoxies of eight months. Inspections have shown no sign of any disintegration or failures in the company’s largest frac project in Oklahoma, frac tanks, even after deliberate torque testing to see if the coatings would fail in adhesion and subsequent waste water exposure.

Roosen continued, “The UK countryside is so completely different to the arid and rough range- lands in West Texas where thousands of oil pumps dot the area and populations are relatively sparse. We see avery strong emphasis and creativeness developing in the UK for good practices. But, one thing is for sure, fracking can provide the basic enabling technology for the UK for cheap gas energy that will far surpass the economic benefits the North Sea oil boom brought.”

Castagra Products, Inc., is aUScompany with manufacturing capacity for its oil and gas industry protective coatings in Fort Worth and Houston, Texas. The coatings are principally made of vegetable oil and gypsum and have a20-year history of protecting ships and concrete structures. Castagra has now commenced coating activities in Lancashire.


january 2013 SURFACEWORLD 51

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