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A call to the Halliburton Oxnard office confirmed that Halliburton is assisting Venoco with gas fracking in Santa Barbara and Carpenteria.  While Venoco bores the wells, it is Halliburton’s Oil Services Corporation that cements the walls of those wells and provides tool-setting equipment, as well as cement foundations for piping, and other services of Venoco operations.  The Department of Conservation also confirmed Halliburton’s joint partnership with Venoco.
     In addition, Lois Capps, through the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, is investigating reports of fracking going on in the Las Padres National Forest and Solimar Beach. The Department of Conservation has confirmed that gasfracking in Filmore took place in the 1960s by Senica Corporation.  Senica used one of two companies supplying well cementing, Slumber J, or Halliburton.  The supervisor of the Department of Conservation could not be reached for additional information until Monday.
    He was at an all-day meeting in Bakersfield, the city in California that produces the cement required for use in the wells stability process. He will be able to confirm which corporation did the first cementing of the first fracking project in our county.  Walt Beil, of Department of Conservation denied any fracking in Ventura County.  However, he
did say his supervisore had more complete answers. It is important to understand that Halliburton does not do the drilling for oil and natural gas.  Its “oil services” corporation provides the means for drilling, and foundation for the stability of the well and adjoining pipes after drilling.  They are also responsible for the laws created around fracking which allows carte-blanche drilling by oil companies such as Venoco, or Occidental.
And although tremendous amounts of water is used for the fracking process, the water that is used usually comes from on-site.  “They use the water that is there naturally from where they are drilling.  The oil that bursts through the surface is 80% water.”  Biel stated that they ofen drill for water on site to aid in the fracking process.
Unfortunately, gas fracking has changed since the 1960s.  Drilling goes much deeper, as far as 5,000 feet, and as many as 78 different chemicals have been used in the fracking process. Among those, the combination of chemicals known as “BTEX” are common, i.e. benzine, toluene, ethylbenzene, and Xyline.  These chemicals are petroleum based products found in glues and paint thinners, that are also known to cause hemolysis (the destruction of red blood cells) and a variety of cancers, including leukemias, and tumors involvming several glands and organs. 40% of the chemicals used stay underground and are dispersed in the groundwater.  Contamination is the result, as their is no treatment process to remove most of the petroleum products/chemicals from the drinking water.
    Gas fracking is the process by which water and chemicals, under intense pressure, are injected into rock beneath the earth’s surface, pulverizing it and causing fissures, The process potentiates the oil/or/gas released.  However, the chemicals used escape into the fissures as well, contaminating the ground water.  In the award winning film, “Gasland,” so many chemicals escaped into the groundwater that the residents in Wyomming could hold a match to their faucets and catch the water on fire.
    Bob Field, President of Santa Ynez Ranch Estate Mutual Water Company has condemned the entire process of gas fracking.  States Field, “If its unlawful for a chemical to be used in groundwater, why then is it lawful to inject it in the ground?”  Mr. Field is aware, like enviornmentalists have been for years, that leaving chemicals in the ground will eventually leach into the water supply. Field points out that a thousand gallons of chemicals are used per hundreds of thousands of gallons of water for each bored well. In Santa Barbara’s case, all the water being used is taken from the aquifer, Santa Barbara’s only resource of drinking water.  “Each well ruins hundreds of thousands of gallons of our drinking water,” says Field.
Santa Barbara residents were not aware of the gas fracking operations until recently.  Halliburton, a more powerful corporation, which doesn’t need ALEC (the American Legislation Exchange Council) to assist them with the making of federal law, created its own seedy legislation through Dick Cheney.  Called the “Halliburton Exception.”
The “Exception” law provides non-regulatory loopholes for gas fracking without accountability, or disclosure as to the chemicals used for oil or gas fracking process.
Although Halliburton does not physically drill for oil and gas, its operations are dependent upon those who do.  Because environmental protections were slowing down well-drilling across the country, Halliburton created the “Exception” to provide a runaway well-setting business. This was crucial for Halliburton’s survival, as they had recieved fines and losses from so many failed projects, mergers, and investments.
Their oil services department was keeping them above water.
According to reports overseen by Waxman and Markey, as many as 279 unregulated, undisclosed products have been used from 2005-2009 in the hydraulic fracking process, 78 just this year.
    Gas fracking has been confirmed in the Los Padres National Forest, in Moterey and Bakersfield Counties. However, 52,075 additional acres have been consigned to oil and gas drilling.  One of those areas, aproxmately 13,444 acres borders Ojai and the Los Padres in the 805 area.
Although no drilling or fracking has yet taken place, the area is geologically conducive to fracking, so we need to alert our city.
     Citizens in Carpenteria, Santa Barbara, and Los Padres are now fighting fracking in their areas.  Let’s prevent fracking from occurring in Ventura County.  Let’s also support the FRAC ACT or the fracking responisibility Act.  Although it isn’t the strong bill that should be written, it still provides for some regulations, accountability, and full disclosure
as to the chemicals used in the fracking process.  Of course, naming chemicals used will not prevent them from entering the water table and getting into our drinking water.  And since fracking causes earthquakes, it won’t prevent earthquakes from happening during the drilling process in our area either.
    Oil and gas drilling is taking place in Torrey Canyon south of Piru, and off of Ventura Avenue, but Beil of the Conservation Department claims the drilling there is not permitted for fracking, and that no fracking is taking place in Ventura County at this time..
-Grant
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