A&M Corpus Christi professor discusses fracking concerns - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

A&M Corpus Christi professor discusses fracking concerns

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It appears the sale of two oil and gas leases in the Choke Canyon reservoir will move forward. 

As we first reported Monday, the Bureau of Land Management wants to sell the leases to oil and gas companies that would use fracking. Those 16-hundred acres are submerged land at the bottom of Choke Canyon Lake. Word of the pending sale prompted the city to fire off a letter of protest.

The Bureau of Land Management has received the city's protest and says it will not stop the sale. 

But there's some good news for folks worries about that potential fracking location. An A&M Corpus Christi professor says the type of fracking that will be allowed should not be a cause for too much concern. 

The Bureau of Land Management will allow horizontal fracking. That consists of a well being built on land, then crews drill down to where the oil is, and move sideways to get to the oil they need. In this case underneath the Choke Canyon reservoir. 

"It's something that's already happening," said Dr. Dorina Murgulet. She is the TAMUCC Water Supply Studies Director and Assistant Professor of Geology. She says fracking is occurring all around Choke Canyon. 

The city understands that. But because the locations in question are right underneath a major fresh water source, they wanted to be extra cautious. Thus, prompting the protest letter. 

Dr. Murgulet says the chance of contamination from this type of fracking is highly unlikely. "In South Texas we don't have problems with contamination of the water resources, in terms of underground-ground water, from oil and gas activities and fracking because it's so deep."

Dr. Murgulet says if a well would be allowed to be on the water, that would be a major cause of concern. That would bring in a threat of a leak at the well head, which could ruin our water resource. But according to the terms of the land sale, that will not be allowed. 

Even though the Bureau of Land Management says the sale of the land is set to move forward, the city tells us it may still consider legal options to stop it. 

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