Hydraulic Fracturing And Natural Gas

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Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” is a drilling process that allows access to unconventional oil and natural gas reserves that would otherwise be inaccessible. Limestone, sandstone and shale far below the ground contain natural gas. This gas is formed as dead organisms in the rocks are decomposed. We can capture this gas at the surface when the rocks that contain the gas are drilled. To increase the flow of released gas, drillers use pressurized water to break the rocks apart, “fracturing” them. Initially this was sometimes done through detonating small explosions in the wells to increase the flow of gas to the surface. Around 1940, oil and gas drilling companies started fracking the rocks through pumping a high pressure water, sand and…show more content…
Also, water from gas wells often returns to the surface containing low, but measurable radioactive elements, and huge concentrations of salt. Economic Benefits/Liabilities Some potential benefits of fracking include job creation, increased income and wealth for those who sign gas leases on privately owned land, expanded local business opportunities for those who directly and indirectly service the energy industry. This could be for example construction workers, hotels and restaurants. Another benefit is rising tax revenue for communities. US oil and gas producers are struggling with persistently low natural-gas prices and a roughly 50% drop in the price of crude oil in the past year. The huge drop in oil prices has caused many drillers to do drastically cut their budgets, including laying off workers. Some firms are also struggling with higher costs of storing fracking related waste due to stricter regulations. Water, Climate Hydraulic fracturing requires 2-10 million gallons of water per well per fracture, which raises concern over water resources and quality. Some of the concern is about depletion of groundwater sources, but there are also a concerns about contamination of subterranean and surface water. (Boudet, H, 2013) Inadequately treated drilling wastewater with potentially toxic materials; surface spills of chemicals etc is getting released into rivers and streams. (Osborn et al., 2011) Instances of water contamination have been
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