Brian Maffly – The Salt Lake Tribune
A Moab energy company is testing a novel method of fracking at its booming oil field outside Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park.
The experimental extraction method — injecting oil rather than chemical-laden water underground — has shaken environmentalists already worried about the industrialization of a scenic area.
Fidelity Exploration and Production Co.’s wells on Big Flat have been among the nation’s most productive in 2012. But more recently drilled bores haven’t been yielding as much crude lately.
So last week, the company injected fluids in a well near Dead Horse Point in hopes of “stimulating” its outflow, according to Fidelity officials.
The hydrocarbon formation outside Moab, known as Paradox Basin, contains naturally occurring fissures that can be damaged by water, according to company spokesman Tim Rasmussen.
“We needed to find a fluid that would not damage the reservoir while at the same time being environmentally benign,” he said. (…)