Essay on Fracking: Shale Gas and Natural Gas Operations

Submitted By adipac
Words: 1199
Pages: 5

Mr. Hens
World Geogrophy


Fracking. Is it a bad word, or a natural gas disaster? Well one thing’s for sure is that if you remove the ‘ra’ and replace it with ‘u’ it’s defiantly a bad word! The real problem we’re going to focus on is its meaning, fracking, of course. In this essay you will simply be informed on what fracking is, and what it means. We’ll start off with what it means. Go on to what it does, and end to what it’s doing.

First, what does fracking really mean? Fracking is simply short for Hydraulic fracturing one would say. What it does is fracture underground rocks to a certain point to where oil and other gases come out of and all of that gets sucked up to another truck or factory. Gas engineers have used fracking as a tool for increasing good business since the late 1940s. Sometimes you can see fractures that were formed naturally in formations, and both natural and man-made fractures can be widened by fracking. What this means, is that more oil and gas can be taken from an area of land.

Second what does fracking do? Fracking is a new drilling technology that does high volume hydraulic fracturing, you can now reach natural gas that is located (mostly) under of the state of Ohio, without working so hard. After drilling at a certain angle to the depth that reaches slightly above the shale, the drill bit is turned horizontally and pushed into the shale, as much as a mile or more. Small fractures are created in the targeted area with underground explosions and a mixture of sand, water and chemicals is injected at high pressure into the newly created fractures to further crack the rock and release the trapped gas. The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, was introduced to both houses of the United States Congress and marks to get the exemption for fracking in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It would have to use the energy industry to close the chemicals it uses with the water and sand that it pumps underground in the fracking process. This problem surrounds the practice of hydraulic fracturing as a threat to drinking water supplies. The gas industry opposes the legislation.

Finally what it’s doing, you might notice how small this essay looks as of right now, but I wouldn’t worry because I have pages on what fracking is doing to the world. Fracking uses chemicals that are pumped below ground to try and release hidden pockets of gas hidden beneath. For many the increased popularity of fracking to find gas has led to jobs and many see it has a possible savior for the depressed area of Ohio. However, for many, the chemicals and the possible chemical waste and other unknown effects make fracking possibly dangerous.
An article appeared in the Scientific American. The Youngstown area experienced eleven small earthquakes throughout 2011. There had been another 2.7-level earthquake in the region around Christmas. Nine earthquakes had hit the area between March and November. All of them had happened within an eight-kilometer radius of a waste chemical injection. Just after the earthquake on New Year’s Eve the local towns people in the Youngstown area had asked that the well be closed down. The company had just agreed to close down the well when the 4.0 earthquake happened. However the area’s economy was not doing so well for many years since the steel mills in the area were closed down. For many the towns people, fracking jobs have been a source of new jobs and a new industry in the region. Water is by far the largest component of fracking fluids. The original drilling operation itself may consume 65,000 gallons to 600,000 gallons of fracking fluids. Chemicals used in fracturing fluids usually make up less than 2% by weight of the total fluid. Over the life of a typical well, this may amount to 100,000 gallons of chemicals. These chemicals include biocides, surfactants, viscosity-modifiers, and emulsifiers. Many of these chemicals are used in household products…