Are We Drilling or
Fraking in Lehigh Acres?
Are we drilling or fraking in Lehigh Acres? The Department of Environmental Protection would not return are calls today.
The Lehigh Park field, located in Lee County, south Florida, was discovered in 1974 by Exxon. Production is from the Lower Cretaceous (Comanchean) age Sunniland formation in a combination structural-stratigraphic trap at an approximate depth of 11,400 feet. The Lehigh Park field is the northwesternmost of 14 oil fields discovered to date in the Sunniland trend. Cumulative production from this trend exceeds 100 million barrels of oil. Production to date (through September, 2007) at Lehigh Park is about 5.89 MMBO from five wells, only one of which is still producing. The oil produced from the Lehigh Park field has an API gravity of about 28 degrees, a low gas-oil ratio, and an moderately high sulfur content. It is trucked from the Lehigh Park tank battery to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, from where it is transported by tanker, usually to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast.
“The Lehigh Park field has never had an issue with hydrogen sulfide because the oil it produces is low sulfur, or ‘sweet,’” Dee Ann Miller, a DEP spokeswoman, wrote in an email.
The records that the driller states that the oil produced from the Lehigh Park field has an API gravity of about 28 degrees, a low gas-oil ratio, and a moderately high sulfur content.
So who is right or wrong, high sulfur content can cause hydrogen sulfide.
It’s is a colorless, flammable, toxic gas known for its rotten-egg smell at low concentrations. It occurs naturally in crude oil, natural gas and hot springs along with the breakdown of organic material, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Hydrogen sulfide has killed workers on oilfields around the country and has also been found in wells in Southwest Florida, according to DEP documents.
The gas is heavier than air and can be quickly lethal in enclosed spaces. The upper threshold for human inhalation over short periods is 15 parts per million and lethal at 100 parts per million, according to OSHA.
Despite the presence of an active well so close to the school, neither the Lee County School District nor the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have specific hazardous materials safety plans for the site.
Since the Sunshine Elementary School, which has 1,171 students, was built in 1985, there have been eight reported infractions at the site, all minor, according to DEP documents.
The Lee County School District does not have a school-specific plan for the release of any hazardous chemicals from the site.