As nations search for less carbon intensive forms of energy the demand for gas has grown rapidly worldwide in recent years. This significant increase in demand has led to a boom in world gas prices. In Australia, there are large reserves of unconventional natural gas compared to conventional natural gas. However, according to the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE) there is enough conventional natural gas in Australia to supply all of Australia at current levels for more than 6130 years.
Fracking extracts hydrocarbons from previously inaccessible sources of oil and gas using hydraulically pressurised liquid to fracture rock and release gas trapped in coal seams (Hester, R & Harrison, R). This gas was once unprofitable because …show more content…
Can contaminate groundwater that local landowners that farmers and local communities need. Gas leaks that may damage local fauna and flora and could have detrimental effects on the native wildlife. Takes an enormous amount of water (8 million gallons) to complete each fracturing job. Seismic surveying needs to be undertaken to determine where resources lie, seismic surveying has a detrimental impact on ecosystems – weed spreading, land clearing, dividing up and disturbing landscapes for access roads.
Major reasons for water contamination from shale gas fracking operations:
Well casing failure due to corrosion or faulty construction. Disposal of fracking “flowback” fluids, the water mixed with fracking chemicals must be store and then disposed of after the fracking of each gas well. Storage and disposal of used fracking fluids can contaminate surface and/or ground water. Emissions happen at point of both extraction, combustion and processing of the gas.
Gas fracking releases methane into the atmosphere which is a powerful greenhouse gas.
The health impacts
The chemicals used in fracking are of concern. Current lack of research in this area.
National Toxics Network produced a statement saying that “Our investigation found that of 23 common fracking chemicals used in Australia, only 2 have ever been assessed.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth.The dangers of fracking are the chemicals that go into fracking and how much water is used and contamination of city water. Some dangers of fracking are water usage. They use 2 to 5 million gallons of water. Not all of the chemicals are recovered from the ground. We only know of 8 out of 600 chemicals. To many chemicals are used and some a harmful. Fracking water usage is too high for instance one well can use 144,000,000million gallons of water. 50%-70% of the fracking fluid is left in the ground and isn’t biodegradable. The waste fluid that is outside in the sunlight evaporates and releases volatile organic compounds(Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air.) Due to the VOCs acid rain, ground level ozone and contaminated air. Ground level ozone is bad, but ozone up high in the atmosphere protects the earth from the Sun’s harmful rays.
The added chemicals help reduce problems such as a buildup of bacteria and mineral deposits (OSU). Fracking is a very water intensive process and uses up to four million gallons of fresh water for each well, and with about thirty-five thousand wells in the United States, fracking consumes the same amount of water as five million people (Schmidt). Most of the water used remains trapped down in the rocks where the natural gas previously was, but about thirty to seventy percent of the water resurfaces as what is called “flowback”. Flowback water is full of minerals, salts, and often times some radioactive materials.
the desire to achieve independence from foreign energy sources” (Ben Harris). “The environmental safety of fracking has yet to be conclusively demonstrated, they say, and the industry has a poor track record”(Ben
The mismanagement of the practice has the potential to create environmental damage such as water contamination, radioactive spills, and increased seismic activity that could cost thousands in dollars in damage. Furthermore, the unintended consequences of fracking can have detrimental effects on the environmental. The potential for water contamination can pose both an immediate and long term risk to environmental stability, including landscape distortion, inhabitability and ecological displacement. This contamination of drinking water can also be detrimental to the human environment, limiting the amount of safe water available for both the residential and commercial human environment. With the increase of fracking, the level of disapproval for the practice has only mounted. Concerns including overconsumption of
Fracking is a shorter form of Hydraulic Fracturing which is the extraction process of both natural gas and oil. The process involves drilling deep into the Earth’s surface. Fractures are then created by “pumping large quantities of fluids at high pressure down a welfare and into the target rock formation” (EPA, 2016). After making these openings for the gas or oil to come up (known as “flowback”) the materials can be stored. The reason the fracking process occurs is because “more usual methods of extraction may not be able to fully reach the deposits of shale gas and oil” (2015).
During the mid 2000s hydraulic fracking was starting to grow because ‘It was a good way to meet energy needs.”(source 5). Hydraulic fracking has been said to release chemicals and pollute drinking water.
The greatest common concern on the subject today is water contamination. Individuals grew worried that the chemicals used to gather these natural resources will seep into the water and contaminate the United States. The water necessary to frack is gathered from rivers, lakes, ponds, and even aquifers. This is then combined with chemicals and pumped into the ground. Fracking was exempted from the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the chemicals used to frack are not tested frequently in our water (Lampe 34). Bordering on 20 to 40 percent of the water used to frack rises back up to the surface and is stored on site (Lampe 34). An
Due to the toxic chemicals in the water based mixture, the water can no longer be recycled, depleting access to fresh water. With California in a drought, it is contradicting to permanently remove massive amounts of water to proceed with fracking when water, a precious resource, needs to be conserved. Furthermore, wastewater, excess fracking water dumped into pits, poses hazardous threats to the environment. These toxic chemicals may seep into clean groundwater or into the air, polluting inhabitants surrounding the fracking source. Exposure to the chemicals may cause detrimental health effects, such as cancer, within humans (No Fracking in California, 2015). Within the environment, these chemicals may bioaccumulate within the trophic levels, harming living organisms and risking disruption in the food web. Endangered species, such as the California condor and San Joaquin kit fox, are threatened due to air pollution and habitat loss by industrial development to continue fracking (“Fracking in California: Nine Questions and Concerns”). Environmentalists continue to fight against California’s decision to pursue fracking, as it clearly possesses damaging environmental
McGraw describes several of the numerous incidents of air and water pollution that occurred directly from the fracking. Methane, a colorless and odorless greenhouse gas that is known to trap radiation, leaked several times in Susquehanna. Not only were water supplies contaminated by chemicals, but fracking can often lead to droughts as the oil companies draw water for the hydraulic fracturing. Some people have found so much gas in their water that it could be set on fire. Methane can have harmful long-term effects from
Additionally, fracking has a large impact on global warming. Methane, one of the greenhouse gases quickly filling our atmosphere, is released into the air in every step of the fracking process. It traps 86 percent more heat than carbon dioxide, increasing global warming. Radon is the second leading contributor to lung cancer, and 39 percent higher in fracking areas. 21.000 deaths from radon-induced lung cancer has been reported in the U.S. To top it off, 300,000 gallons of natural gas are produced in only one day of
Fracking has killed farmer’s livestock and it leaked into the farmers plants. When the oil drillers drill sometimes it leaches out of the ground and gets in the plants. Chemicals spilling from fracking could contaminate the plants.Fracking has also caused a lot of earthquakes. In conclusion fracking is bad for the environment because it has killed farmers, livestock and ruined the plants.
Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States, where millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release the gas. Scientists are worried that the chemicals used in fracturing may pose a threat either underground or when waste fluids are handled and sometimes spilled on the surface. The natural gas industry defends hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, as safe and efficient. Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a pro-industry non-profit organization, claims fracking has been “a widely deployed as safe extraction technique,” dating back to 1949. What he doesn’t say is that until recently energy
While it is true “fracking”, a procedure to obtain natural gas removal from shale formations, it is also true there have been infrastructure security issues associated with this practice. Furthermore, there have been ecological considerations from fracking brought to the forefront by countless environmentalists. Indeed, hydraulic fracturing, as it is referred to, is a process by which shale gas and oil is uprooted from a depth far below the earth’s exterior. The process of extracting shale gas and oil is employed aggressively while water is forced deep beneath the earth surface through a geological arrangement. From this arrangement, oil and gas is exerted back to the earth’s surface. Moreover, once the hydraulic fracturing process is
Another problem that we know exists with hydraulic fracturing is the contamination of the water, the ground, and the air around the sites (Goldman pg. 2). It has been shown that “…residents living near the hydraulic fracturing sites are increasingly worried that the drilling process might be contaminating their well water, polluting streams, and releasing toxic gases into the air (Hobson).” Water sources, as well as the soil, are often polluted from flowback fluid and from production brine (Hydro-Fracking pg.4). Flowback fluid is “the contaminated fluid that returns to the surface during the drilling process, and is estimated to be between 9% - 35% of the fluids injected during