Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
I read with interest about the panel discussion on the pros and cons of so-called “hydrofracking.” The debate as framed makes good points, however, it also misses a few key points.
When I was an exploration and development geologist for a Fortune 100 oil and gas company, for all the majors I worked with the preferred industry standard practice for both oil and gas well completions was called an “acid frac,” or an “acid job.” Based on my understanding, this is still the preferred method for non-horizontal wells, not hydrofracking.
The acids pumped into these wells, such as hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid, are highly concentrated to “clean out” or dissolve rock and natural cements to produce preferential flow paths for oil and gas. These old practices involve hundreds of thousands of U.S. wells—more than are typically hydrofracked. These practices are unregulated, as are the drilling muds.
“Mud” is a misleading term. These muds are laden with polymers, chemicals, and heavy metals formulated to bring to the surface crushed rock, coat the borehole, and prevent blowouts. My company experienced a “blowout” in Oklahoma that blew the entire drill string out of the hole when it encountered an over-pressured gas zone and the mud was not thick enough to counter the massive pressure. Muds are excluded from reporting, regulation or oversight.
The key to a successful well is the completion method: the type of mud used and how the well casing is cemented into place. The blow-out of BP’s Deep Water Horizon Anaconda well in the Gulf is a recent case of questionable cementing practices. There was also a major blowout several years prior in Ohio.
Well-drilling and completions are not regulated, left up to what is termed “best professional practice.” Yet large areas and groundwater zones in many old producing areas in the U.S. are contaminated from prior practices. This calls for a broad-based effort by citizens and government to reduce deaths and injuries. Despite best practices, accidents do happen.
Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
The toy biz sure has changed in recent years.
No longer the sole domain of kids, toy collecting has evolved to include an ever-increasing adult segment of the market; grown men (and yes, women too) who devote a sizable amount of their time and income placating their inner child, proving that while everyone grows up, it’s important to remain young at heart.
The industry itself has also changed to reflect this growing trend, creating a market that produces sophisticated, cutting-edge collectible figures and memorabilia based on a variety of subjects, ranging from movies, comic books, and more; in addition, vintage toys of years past remain sought-after by collectors.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Visitors to the concession stand at Triangle Park might notice a difference in the snack’s shack’s name, as it was recently rededicated to honor longtime Hicksville American Soccer Club (HASC) Vice President Joe Visconti.
The building rededication came as a surprise to the Hicksville resident, who found out about the renaming when he arrived at Triangle Park to find his friends, family and local legislatures gathered around a new sign on the concession stand that read “Joe Visconti Snack Shack.”
“I was very touched. It was amazing that they did that for me,” said Visconti.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Hicksville’s Jill Loveland, 28, scored as the second finisher among the women in the 25-29 age group in the 21st annual New York Blood Services Rob’s Run, a 5 Kilometer cross country race held through Stillwell Woods in Woodbury on Sunday morning, Dec. 1. Loveland finished the run in 22 minutes, 29 seconds.The weather for this year’s run was nearly perfect for a late Fall cross country race, and the net result was a bunch of pretty impressive performances — and lots of enthusiasm — on the part of the 534 finishers. The run was staged by the Greater Long Island Running Club in cooperation with the Town of Oyster Bay.
“We were thrilled to see Jill Loveland do so well in this event,” observed Run Co-Director Sue Fitzpatrick. She is a great competitor and a valued member of the club."
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
As they come off their most successful season in 30 years, the Hicksville Boys basketball team faces a challenge in replicating last year's success. The 2012-13 season saw the Comets compile a 15-5 record and had their season ending in the Nassau County semifinals to rival Baldwin. According to Head Coach Phil Essigman, who is entering his 14th season with the varsity team, the team will feature only two returning players from last season. Last year’s team was incredibly deep and experienced and it is part of the “rollercoaster”, as he described it, of high school sports for teams to go through periods of grooming inexperienced players.