Discussion Board Response

Please provide an articulate and meaningful response to a fellow students discussion board post here is the students post:

Project: SafeWater Fracking

Purpose: Water Conservation

Company: Exxon Mobil

Industry: Oil and Gas/Fracking

My approach to the proposal for a fracking water conservation process was two-fold:

  • To provide adequate background identifying the severity of current fracking water usage and current levels of water depletion to concretize the environmental crisis to which fracking causes and contributes
  • To provide substantial, detailed, and compelling evidence of the financial benefits of this project – to Exxon Mobil, the US, and the oil and gas industry

Beyond that, my approach was largely a subtractive process, by which I honed down all five of our milestone papers into one artifact that contained only the most critical content. This part was incredibly challenging, and in general I’ve always found synthesis work like this to be migraine-inducing. In the end, I’m telling a story of how society and our environment has outgrown much of the fossil fuel era (Brown’s Last Chance, 2018) and needs a mechanism for transitioning into an age of renewables. It will take a few decades and my idea will enable us to move in that direction while causing less harm to public health, our natural resources, and our fragile planet.

Through some helpful feedback from our Professor and classmates, I’ve refined the audio visual presentation to be a bit slimmer, with more bullet points and less narrative text, and I also removed several slides to make the overall presentation a bit shorter. I believe these changes make for a tighter presentation and bring more impact to my message and vision.

I am also keeping a close eye on the news between now and our final submission deadline. For example, I read a new article published today in Forbes identifying some rather grim predictions about fracking: fast deterioration of fracking wells, and a resulting increase in equipment and production costs going forward (Lynch, 2018). Production costs for fracking are significantly less than traditional oil and gas drilling because of the velocity and efficiency that fracking brings. But production cost has historically been the Achilles heel of the oil business. Oil and gas exploration/discovery is not a sure thing, refining production is complex and perilous, and profits are only possible at massive scale and volume. My SafeWater Fracking project significantly lowers production costs because it eliminates the huge cost of disposal in Phase 1 and transportation + disposal in Phase 2.

And there are two major political issues right now that could significantly impact the future of fracking and the regulatory environment: the November congressional midterm elections, and the appointment of a Supreme Court nominee. While the congressional midterms are looking increasingly blue, Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment could loosen fracking regulations – for decades. By and large, red creates opportunities for traditional oil and gas, and blue strengthens the fracking business environment (Bloom, 2018). Exxon Mobil’s diversified portfolio is intended to hedge these types of political movements to create stable overall financial results.

My plan is to keep watching the news and then carefully decide whether or not to incorporate new information into the narrative paper portion of my final.

Lisa

References:

Bloom, M. (2018). Increased Oil, Gas Well Setback Measure Qualified for November Ballot. Retrieved from www.kunc.org

Brown’s Last Chance (2018). Retrieved from www.obrag.org

Lynch, M. (2018). Fracking As The Next Financial Meltdown. Retrieved from www.forbes.com

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