Hydraulic Fracturing And Its Effects On Water Quality

2751 Words12 Pages
Introduction The United States has experienced an oil and gas renaissance in the recent decade thanks to technological advances closing loopholes in fracking policies will improve water quality, solutions to loop holes technical and policy solutions. Background Hydro fracking is the process of drilling a well vertically into the ground, then drilling a horizontal well off of the vertical well and injecting fluids which consist of water and between three and twelve chemicals. These chemicals are injected underground at high pressures to crack open shale rock and release natural gas or oil trapped which may be trapped in the rock. This then allows the natural gas or oil to flow to the surface where it can then be collected (Prud 'homme…show more content…
The first attempt to use hydraulic fracturing in a well took place in the Hugoton gas field in Grant County, Kansas in 1947. Many experiments were performed after this but in the 1970’s the federal government started the Eastern Gas Shales Project due to the energy crisis of 1973 (Prud 'homme 2013). In 1980, one year after the second energy crisis of 1979, Congress passed the Windfall Profits Tax Act, which created a tax credit for unconventional gas; this tax credit spurred the growth of shale hydro fracking and has made what hydraulic fracturing is today. There are commonly two types of wells, conventional well which are drilled straight down and hydraulic fracturing wells both types of wells start out in similar ways. Once a drill pad has been built and the equipment is in place, the First step is to drill a vertical well into a layer of shale. These vertical wells are usually 3,280 feet or 0.62 of a mile beneath the surface to put this in to perspective it would be like drilling down into the earth the length of nine American football fields (Prud 'homme 2013). This depth can vary depending on location, geology and stage of drilling. Some wells may range anywhere from 5,000 to 9,000 feet deep. A set length of steel pipe is inserted in to the well soon after the drilling begins. This steel pipe is called the conductor
Get Access