The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is investigating the spill of a sludgy drilling lubricant into a small creek in Washington County, PA. DEP spokesman John Poister said the agency believes the sludge is bentonite clay that accidentally sprayed into the creek during construction of a pipeline that will ship natural gas liquids to a Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia. The DEP does not yet know how much of the sludge leaked into the creek. The spill was discovered late last week and was contained by Sunday.
The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) has launched a virtual hydraulic fracturing website to demonstrate the latest advances in environmentally-friendly technologies used to develop oil and natural gas resources. The site, launched as a companion to HARC's virtual drilling rig, is free and available to the public at www.efdvirtualsite.org. It allows users to tour an unconventional site and click on objects to reveal videos, case studies and literature that show methods and tools to address various environmental issues. The program was funded by the Ground Water Protection Council.