Iowan Shale Play? Texas Gov. Rick Perry Thinks So.
Texas Governor, and Republican presidential hopeful, Rick Perry says Obama is scaring people about the potential hazards of fracking. Perry says the process used to extract natural gas has never contaminated any aquifers. But a recent report by the Environmental Working Group revealed an EPA investigation that did link a contaminated well in West Virginia to fracking at a nearby natural gas well.
At an early campaign stop Monday night, Perry also said Iowans, like Texans and Pennsylvanians, might benefit from a shale gas boom in their state.
“You know, we don’t know what’s under the surface here in Iowa, there may be copious amounts of natural gas down there because the Eagle Ford in south Texas, no one knew it was there until four or five years ago.”
In fact, lots of people knew about the Eagle Ford Shale play long before they started to tap it for natural gas. And geologists knew about the Marcellus Shale. What gas industry engineers didn’t know, was how to drill economically until they developed the use of hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling. That’s what began five years ago.
So, is there a shale play in Iowa? There is a formation called the Forest City Basin, which stretches south into Kansas and Missouri. Oil drilling began in that area in the 1860’s. There is coalbed methane in the basin, and new technologies could make it worthwhile to drill for it. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the potential is graded as “fair to poor.” But who knows, maybe Perry is right, and geologists have yet to discover the lucrative Iowan shale play.