Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We need Oil - Don't we?

I finally found time to write this planned essay on the blog home  page. Have a look!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Drilling right behind the LISD Center for a Sustainable Future

If that's our future - it ain't that sustainable baby....


Practice: Fig leaf sponsored by "Big Oil & Gas" ?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fracking Boom Threatens Health of National Parks

The rapid increase of the oil and gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is outpacing our understanding of how massive concentrations of oil and gas wells impact surrounding lands.  Without safeguards, the boom in fracking could significantly impact the air, water, wildlife and forests that are protected in our national park system.


Tank Farms, Oil Wells, Flares, and Pumps in our Area as Seen from Space

Courtesy of Pam Taylor:
The Google Earth shots for Witt Farm and the McMunn tank farm and Class II injection well off of Carleton Hwy. and U.S. 223 in Palmyra haven't been updated since 2010, so I didn't include them. The Tipton Rd. tank farm has no flare or injection well or processing facility attached. 
Goetz tank farm and processing plant, Shepherd Rd. just east of Pentecost. Google Earth photo from 6.2.13. This is the largest and oldest facility in the area. This is where the newest Class II injection well is being drilled, although the rig wasn't set up yet in early June when this was taken. If you look closely at the lower left of the picture, at the pipeline that runs diagonally just above the top left edge of the tree line, you can just barely see the flame of the flare that burns 24/7 and you can see the pipelines running from the tanks to the stack. Supposedly, they will be shipping the gas via pipeline and they'll stop burning off the gas at some point in the future.

Below is the Ruesink tank farm, processing plant, and Class II injection well on Knight Hwy. Google Earth photo taken on 6.2.13 You can see the open waste/mud pit quite well in this photo.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Second Pipeline Mapped Out

Walked the Kiwanis trail today and found the famous blue stakes, so I followed them and mapped out the new pipeline until it enters the Frye Farm. Just to make sure, I did not enter into any marked private property and did not encounter any fences - I just followed the stakes from the public walkway shown in the first picture just below until back to the Kiwanis trail.

This gave me the general direction, where this straight part of the pipeline meets the straight portion crossing M52 and passing the residence shown in a picture on a previous post. My last guess was actually pretty close.

 There are 3 bottom holes off Carson, which all seem to be located on the Frye farm. The new pipeline is in red and refers to the elevation profile below the map. I also marked all current bottom holes on Witt Farm (Adrian 1-25), Purse Funeral Home (State Adrian & Purse 2-25), Statton's Landscaping (State Adrian & Stratton 1-24), and Heritage Park (Adrian Raisin 2-30)). Please note that many of these wells exploit several locations by drilling horizontally. Old pipeline from Heritage to Witt in blue

I check out if I could see anything of the two bottom holes in the southwestern corner of Frye Farm and was thrilled that I could get a peak just west of the Kiwanis trail that was not marked as private property and was not fenced in. Please note that I did not step on the open grassland, which is obviously private property...
Unfortunately, there was nothing to be seen. Frye 1-26 may not been drilled yet ??? and Frye 2-26 is in the forest and not visible (or is also not drilled yet???).

 The forest opening in the middle of the picture leads to Frye 2-26 but it goes way into the forest
The Frye farmhouse with a excavator and already assembled pipes for the pipeline.

 Shortly after the above pictures, Kiwanis trail crosses Beaver Creek. The bottom hole Frye 2-26 (Carson 4) is 30 ft. right above the creek. Frye 1-26 (Carson 3) is a little further away but also just 40 ft. above the creek bed. It is very easy for contaminated ground water or surface water to reach the creek.

Frye 2-26 (Carson 4) is 30 ft. right above the creek (see profile above), Frye 1-26 (Carson 3) is 40 ft above the creek bed.

Oils residue above mud in a ditch next to Kiwanis trail close to Frye 1-26

Beaver Creek towards NW as seen from the Kiwanis trail bridge

Friday, August 9, 2013

Permitted well off country club road is now being developed

Right when coming down the road from Budlong, past Scott - but on right side.

Huge Flare on Stratton's

The hugest flare that I ever saw is up on Stratton's Landscaping.
BTEXs are definitely smellable from the lower soccer stadium at Heritage Park. Definitely a health risk for kids playing soccer there.

No pics from the flare - it is difficult to see - the entire area is quite hidden. However, the DEQ site shows that they now drilled 3 directional wells from the bottom hole at Strattons - one of them, the newest quite far.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Consumer Energy Hooks Up the Pump in Heritage Park

The pump in Heritage Park was not working for a while now even though the generator was roaring all the time. I thought it was not necessary after Savoy had the well re-drilled a week ago. Today Consumer Energy was connecting the well area to the grid on Heritage Park, temporarily blocking off driving access to the lower part of the Park (disk golf and model plane field). As soon as they had the box hooked up the pump started working - indicating that the generator did not provide enough power?

Today (August 9) the pump was off and the generator is still roaring despite having electricity from the grid. Seems wasteful to me...


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Track of the New Pipeline Becomes Clearer

The pipeline progressed much further than I thought. It is well hidden behind one row of corn plants. After a few pictures from Wizz Computer opposite of Witt Farm you follow me South on M52 towards Adrian. The pictures were actually made after returning North bound out of the city to have a better view - but I present them here as if you are going South from Witt Farm.

Here the pipeline will cross M52

Seemingly running towards this house (see the blue flagging stake). Adding up to something like this. Probably achieved by horizontal drilling from the corn field to the drill site of Carson?

There is also substantial work going on at the Carson Highway end of the pipeline. As in the case of Savoy's 1st pipeline from Heritage Park to Witt Farm, again it looks like there are 5 parallel pipes to avoid getting a permit for one larger pipeline for going under Beaver Creek. This will again involve horizontal drilling. Whether they will drill horizontally all the way from Carson to the corn field across M52 - or just under M52, then have the pipes buried 4 feet under going through the property on the west side of M52 shown above, and again drilling horizontally under Beaver Creek and then again standard 4 feet under ground to the Carson site is not clear yet - and it will be difficult to follow as it will go almost entirely through private land...

Again, Savoy's pipelines pass through very close to nationally recognized wetlands and cuts under Beaver Creek and through - or under one of the largest forested areas within or close to city limits.

Enbridge Tries to Bypass Keystone XL in Our Area (Livingston County)

Another Major Tar Sands Pipeline Seeking U.S. Permit

Canadian energy giant Enbridge is quietly building a 5,000-mile network of new and expanded pipelines that would achieve the same goal as the Keystone

Full article here

Having so many pipelines and so much construction going on in our region costs us and the environment:

Enbridge damage: Utility, road fixes could hit $1 million

Road and utility damage in Howell Township believed to have been caused by Enbridge Energy LP could reach $1 million, Mike Craine, Livingston County Road Commission managing director, said last week.
Full story here:

Enbridge cited for discharge in Hartland

Read the story here:

The spill was caught on this Youtube video:

Such massive misconduct brought tar sand pipeline watchdogs on the plan. MICATS (Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, arranged a non-violent direct action including a sit-in of some activist tied to the machinery. Livingston Daily reported about this:

12 arrested at Enbridge protest

Read the full article here:

Read also a commentary by Mickey Hirten today: Enbridge Energy has a credibility problem

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Breaking News: New Pipeline SW of Witt Farm Under Construction

Pipes for a new pipeline leading more oil wells to Witt Farm are being assembled right now. As I did not see any stakes indicating the direction of the pipeline track, I suspect this to connect to horizontal drilling from the Carson Highway site.

This would bring the oil of three additional wells to the central processing facility (tank farm) on Witt Farm - and by that increase the already large flare emitting toxic and cancerous BTEXs and other compounds, most probably even hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen chloride (hydrochloric acid).

Savoy's Oil Production in our Area

I tried to pull the public data on well production on the DEQ website at,1607,7-135-3311_4111_4231-98518--,00.html but it is not as easy as you would think. Data are stored as PRU (Production Reporting Unit) and have to be aligned to the well permit number, which could be easier, and is not always a 1:1 relationship, meaning a PRU can include several wells - and there is no convenient way to export the more than 2 months old data from the Online Data Base at so I had to write the numbers down. There is also a Microsoft Access data base that you can download but it is even more behind (lacks data for April and March 2013!). I finally managed to get these numbers:

First, Savoy is the 3rd largest exploiter of crude oil in Michigan at a 2013 total of 236606 barrels. The largest player is West Bay Explorations, which exploit the oil fields in the Irish Hills at 811494 barrels in 2013. Number 2 is Merit Energy at 457779 barrels. These numbers are from March 2013 though!

The below table is a small selection of the total oil production in our area. I just pulled the two wells closest to the City of Adrian and two wells more NW in Adrian township, and SE in Palmyra township. However, some wells in these areas are producing more, others less than the figures shown. The two selected locations are in no way representative for their areas.

Date Production in barrels

Heritage Park Witt Farm 60488 in Palmyra 60558 Pentecost Hwy
Feb-13 - 1697 150 2773
Mar-13 - 5628 108 4602
Apr-13 160 6162 101 3789
May-13 620 6050 91 3391

The oil companies have 45 days from the end of a month to report (yes, you heard right - they monitor how much they make themselves - there is no calibrated device that measures production) - then the overworked and understaffed DEQ has to compile and update the database - resulting in a time lag of currently more than 2 months. Therefore we do not have data on any newer wells yet - or more recent changes in production of present wells. Therefore there are no data yet on the wells on the Purse Funeral Home, Stratton's Landscaping, or the 1-3 wells off Carson Highway.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Witt Farm Prepared to process up to 6 Wells - Flare is very Large and Smelly

Since a few days the wind carries very strong fumes from the hidden flare on Witt Farm all the way to Heritage Park. The smell reminds me of sulfur and hydrochloric acid, which could be connected to the intense drilling and brine pumping we see since a while on the Purse, Stratton and Heritage Park wells. I took a look from the farm entrance but had only my cell phone so the pictures are not very good. But will be updated now:

 The flickering of the air above the barrel from the strong flare inside is not really visible but you can see that there are now 6 storage barrels, which corresponds to 6 wells being processed now or soon to come 

Look at the sizzling air above the barrel. This will give you an indication of how much stuff is emitted into the air all the time.

There are now also six separators for up to six wells