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You are viewing a single post made by Aguane in the thread called Fracking.
|As Iâ€™ve mentioned, Iâ€™m not an expert on any of this, however, Iâ€™m very interested. So, I do a little reading here and there and want to share what Iâ€™m finding. Any comments, enlightenment or corrections are more than welcome.
Natural gas, coal, stone, oil, even water are recovered from the depths of the earth using a method known as â€œfrackingâ€ or more accurately, hydraulic fracturing. I read thatâ€™s itâ€™s earliest use was in 1903, more commonly used in 1947 and used commercially for oil, gas recovery since 1949. You guessed it, Halliburton Corp. Not that thatâ€™s a bad thing. Iâ€™m sure millions of people thank their developed technology for surviving freezing weather.
So, Iâ€™ve been doing a little reading on hydraulic fracturing. There are two causes of fracturing; natural (volcanic, sills and ice) and man-made (hydraulic fracturing) â€œfrackingâ€. Either way, pressure causes rock formations to crack allowing penetration and then extraction of the resource.
Man-made fractures are caused by driving fluid deep into drilled boreholes in the earth where natural gas, oil or even water are held in natural reservoirs. Drilling can go to depths of 5,000-20,000 ft. Once the fracture is forced open it needs to be maintained so the extraction can occur quickly and efficiently. A proppant is used to keep the opening. The makeup of the proppant seems to be the crux of the controversy and opposition to hydraulic fracturing. Proppant can be made up of granular materials of sand, ceramic and particulates. A fluid mixture is then forced into the fractures to propel the resource (gas, oil). The proppant provides permeable material so the oil/gas fluid can pass through to a well. The fluid used may contain harmful chemicals that more quickly breakdown the hard material (shale, perhaps). Where drilling occurs near drinking water resources or natural resources such as rivers, reservoirs, and streams chemicals have been known to leach into the system/ecology and harming or compromising the quality and safety of the water.
Hereâ€™s a recent video from Time.com with a story about what happened to a pond in Pennsylvania. Thereâ€™s always two sides to a story. I think there is safety and merits in mining natural gas, some practices may not be safe, however.
Link showing shale oil mining sites (active or planned)
It's thought that hydraulic fracturing may even cause light earthquake swarms. (click on the table to get full image)
Natural Gas Fueling stations (Dept. of Energy)
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