Tuesday, March 13, 2012

N. Dakota Bakken Shale Boom is Visible from Space

From the SkyTruth Blog:

"NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center provided us with this very interesting satellite image composite above of the upper Midwest, made from nighttime satellite images collected by the U.S. Air Force's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.  State outlines are superimposed on the image.  

Multiple cloud-free images collected over several years have been combined to make this picture: 1992 is shown in blue, 2000 in green, and 2010 in red.  Places that had lots of light in all three years show up bright white (equal amounts of blue, green and red) -- that basically shows established cities and towns (like the Twin Cities) that haven't changed much over that time period.

But whoa, check out that big patch of red in the northwest corner of North Dakota.  That indicates an area of bright lights in 2010 that was dark in 2000 and 1992.  What could this be? Here's a hint:  a map showing the extent of the red-hot Bakken Shale oil-drilling boom that got underway a few years ago. Oil is being produced from the Bakken by drilling and hydraulically fracturing long horizontal wells. 

So why is this area all lit up at night?  Well, the rigs and other facilities are highly illuminated because drilling is a 24/7 proposition - time is money so there is no 'down time.'"


At 3/14/2012 8:18 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Also, they're flaring off most of their natural gas.

At 3/14/2012 9:00 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Yes, that is mentioned at the link in the post.

At 3/14/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger Paul said...

the libs reaction to this: it's so bad you can see it from spaaaaace!


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