Hydraulic Fracturing : An Ethical Approach

1168 WordsNov 20, 20155 Pages
Hydraulic Fracturing: An Ethical Approach Hydraulic fracturing in combination with advancement in directional drilling has made it possible to economically extract oil and gas from unconventional resources. The growth in U.S. oil and gas exploration and production made possible by the increase in use of hydraulic fracturing, has raised concerns about its potential to impact human health and the environment. Concerns have been raised by the public about the effects of hydraulic fracturing on quality and quantity of drinking water resources. The hydraulic fracturing water cycle includes five main activities: the withdrawal of ground or surface water needed for hydraulic fracturing fluids; the mixing of water, chemicals, and proppant on the well pad to create the hydraulic fracturing fluid; the injection of hydraulic fracturing fluids into the well to fracture the formation, the return of injected fluid and water produced from the formation to the surface; and the reuse, treatment and disposal of wastewater generated at the well pad, including produced water (U.S. EPA, 2015). With the water cycle being so massive and prolonged, the presence of potential negative impacts is greatly increased. As a future petroleum engineer and a professional who will be responsible for the safety, health and welfare of the public, I would like to research and assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources, and identify factors
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