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I'll get a couple of disclaimers out of the way. I live in one of the
areas depicted in the film, and I have a professional job, highly
dependent on the oil and gas industry.
I saw the television premier of Split Estate a few days ago. Being an industry insider, I had heard a lot of anticipation buzzing around the field about the movie, most of it negative. I wanted to see it for myself and formulate my own opinions before hearing about it from others. Let me just say I was impressed.
The filmmakers did an incredible job of visually portraying the size and scope of oil and gas production in the western US. The dramatic aerial shots showed the enormity of the operations in progress that someone on the ground cannot see.
I felt the film was quite balanced considering the press that it's been given. I thought the scientist's were believable and not agenda driven. The ConocoPhillips representative was and especially good speaker both defending the industry and acknowledging that there were still issues to be solved. This movie is in stark contrast to the horribly one sided, factually incorrect and finger pointing Gas Land
My main complaint about the film was it's lack of hard data. Sure it's easy to believe there are potential negative impacts to the environment when you see gas bubbling up from a stream that is subsequently lit on fire, But is that gas surfacing as a result of human exploration or natural processes? The several scenes depicting sick families did not provide convincing enough proof to indicate that their health problems were indeed oil and gas related.
Split Estate raises more questions than the answers it provides. Yes there are environmental and health effects, yes people are displaced. We will have to see what the public, industry and law makers ultimately do about it.
Weather you are a livelong industry worker, a resident in oil producing areas or a complete outsider whose only interaction with natural gas is using your stove to heat your morning tea, regardless of politics or perceptions...see Split Estate.
This film is highly misleading. All of the landowners in the film knew full well ahead of time that they were not buying the mineral rights with the land and at any time an oil company could come drill on their property within 200' of their house. They knew this going in. The price of land without mineral rights is much cheaper than the price of land with minerals. That's the trade-off. You get the land cheap, but an oil company can come drill on it anytime and there's nothing you can do about it......up to an including within 200' of your house. This is the way it has been done for decades. Anybody who willingly enters a spilt estate situation knows (or should know) what they are getting themselves into. They decided to buy the land anyway. Now they want to cry about drilling on their land? Explain that one to me.
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