Sierra Club - Michigan Chapter - Three Lakes Group
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Analysis of Well Completion Data for Bakken Oil Wells ~ Roger Blanchard

The following analysis uses “well completion information” contained in a newspaper called the Bakken Weekly, a paper covering western North Dakota. The Bakken Weekly started providing well completion information for North Dakota counties in the Bakken region in early 2012.

The well completion information in the Bakken Weekly includes initial production data for approximately 50% of wells. I suspect that many wells don’t have initial production data because there was little or no initial production, although that is generally not stated. There are a few cases where either 0 b/d is given or it is stated that the well was dry, but that is rare.

A fact that suggests that many of the completed wells don’t produce oil is that the sums of well completions in the Bakken Weekly increases significantly more rapidly than the number of producing wells provided by the state of North Dakota. In this analysis, I will assume that initial production was 0 b/d for wells in which initial well production data was not included.

Intensity of Weather Events ~ Roger Blanchard

Sault Ste. Marie had an interesting weather year. The city set the yearly precipitation record, measured as liquid precipitation, in 2013 at ~48.78 inches. The previous record was 45.84 inches in 1995.

Below are some daily rainfall records of 2013:
June 21 – 1.43 inches, July 26 – 2.23 inches, August 26 – 1.26 inches,
September 6 – 1.49 inches, September 9 – 2.56 inches, October 31 – 1.31 inches, November 17 – 2.54 inches

After the Haiyan Typhoon, I read that 6 of the 8 most powerful tropical storms on record had occurred from 1998 to the present. That didn’t surprise me at all. In order for a Category 5 storm to maintain itself, the water column under the storm has to have a relatively high temperature at considerable depth. I’ve read that the ocean water under Haiyan was 79oF at 100 meters. The reason warm water at depth is necessary is because an intense tropical storm churns up the water extensively. If the water is cold below the surface, the cooler water, when brought to the surface, will reduce the intensity of the storm.

Climatologist Kevin Trenbreth and others have documented that precipitation events are becoming more intense. That’s to be expected in a warming world because as water warms, the rate of evaporation increases. As air warms, it can hold more water vapor. Combining the two, the result is more intense precipitation events.

Oil & Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes

Part of the Kalamazoo River was ruined when a million gallons of poisonous tar sands oil spilled from a poorly maintained pipeline, owned and operated by Enbridge Energy. Enbridge, the company responsible for more than 800 oil spills since 1999, has also been pumping oil through two 60-year-old pipes that run through the Straits of Mackinac. Now the company plans to increase their capacity drastically, pumping even more oil through the Straits – including the toxic and corrosive tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada.

Join with Great Lakes neighbors in the shadow of the Mackinac Bridge to tell Enbridge we will not allow tar sands oil to spill into our freshwater seas!

What: Oil & Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes

Where: Bridge View Park, north of the Mackinac Bridge, Boulevard Drive, St. Ignace, Michigan

When: Sunday, July 14, 2013, Noon – Rain or Shine!

Who: Speakers include Bill McKibben, Beth Wallace (NWF), and others. Music by top Michigan artists Seth & May, Lake Effect, and many more!

For more information go to:

Texas and Eagle Ford: Where the Action Is

An article by Roger Blanchard
A lot has been made in the media about how rapidly oil production is increasing in North Dakota due to development of tight oil in the Bakken Shale region of the state. Less has been made of the rapidly increasing oil production in Texas.
According to United States Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration (US DOE/EIA) data, oil production is rising faster in Texas than it is in North Dakota: a 523,000 b/d increase for Texas versus a 243,000 b/d increase for North Dakota in 2012, relative to 2011, based upon US DOE/EIA data as of 2/28/13.
In Texas, most of the recent oil production increase has come from a shale formation called Eagle Ford. Figure 1 is a diagram showing where Eagle Ford is located within Texas.

Click the link to the right to read the full article

Sierra Club Seeks Repeal of Wolf as Game Species

Sierra Club Endorses Repeal of Wolf as Game Species
The successful recovery of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes region is a testament to the effectiveness of wildlife management based on scientific principles and public education. The US Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to delist the wolf as endangered in Michigan in 2011 was partly based on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) adoption of a Wolf Management Plan developed with wildlife experts, tribal representatives, hunters, animal rights organizations and conservationists, including Sierra Club. The plan directed the DNR to conduct five years of scientific study and public education once delisting occurred to lay a solid base for future management decisions regarding the wolf.
In the 2012 lame duck session, Michigan's legislature changed the wolf's status from a non-game to game species even though the Michigan DNR has not implemented the studies and education activities required in the plan. Public Act 520 of 2012 also erroneously claims the law is needed to reduce human/wolf conflicts, in particular predation on livestock. In fact, the Wolf Management Plan allows for the removal of problem wolves, including through lethal means, to address exactly these kinds of problems.
After seriously considering the issue, Michigan Sierra Club's leaders have voted to support a referendum to repeal Public Act 520. Sierra Club does support regulated, periodic hunting of wildlife "when based on sufficient scientifically valid biological data and when consistent with all other management purposes" but has concluded that this law fails to meet that standard.
We urge our members and supporters to sign and help circulate the petition to place this referendum on the 2014 ballot. If enough signatures are collected before the deadline in late March the law will be suspended pending a vote of the people. Send questions to

It's getting hotter here!

Sault Sainte Marie, MI sets an annual high temperature record
Here in Sault Sainte Marie, MI we set an annual high temperature record in 2012 at 45.71 F. The previous record was set in 1998 at 45.52 F. The 1998 record was set in a year with a record El Nino whereas 2012 was not an El Nino year. Two of the three warmest years on record in Sault Ste. Marie have been set in the last 3 years, 2012 at number 1 and 2010 at number 3. The year 2011 was also the 10th warmest year on record in Sault Ste. Marie. Below are tables with temperature data for Sault Ste. Marie Average Temperature per Decade.

Decade Average Temperatures for Sault Sainte Marie ( In Degrees Fareheit)

1890's : 39.5
1900's : 39.9
1910's : 39.4
1920's : 39.6
1930's : 40.8
1940's : 40.4
1950's : 40.2
1960's : 39.9
1970's : 39.8
1980's : 40.2
1990's : 40.8
2000's : 42.1
2010-2012 : 44.6