Hydraulic Fracturing Has Recently Grown In Popularity As
1516 WordsApr 12, 20177 Pages
Hydraulic fracturing has recently grown in popularity as a means of energy production. There are advantages and disadvantages, mainly relating to the environment and the economy, of this industry. Although there are pros and cons to both sides of the issue, a compromise needs to be found for both the safety of the environment and to be able to support affordable energy production. Hydraulic fracturing, as an industry, has had a large economic impact by creating jobs. Using natural gas from hydraulic fracturing, instead of coal, in electricity production has decreased carbon dioxide emissions. The drop in natural gas prices, because of increased production, has lead to cheaper energy prices. Hydraulic fracturing has the potential to…show more content…
After the correct depth is reached, then a directional, or horizontal section is drilled to reach the oil or gas deposits. The fractures in the rock are formed from a process that consists of pumping a large amount of a fluid mixture into the rock formations at high pressures. The fluid is mostly made of water, a proppant (materials that keep the fractures open), and chemicals that help open the rock fractures further. Internal pressure pushes the fluid mixture back to the surface after the process is complete. The fluid that comes back to the surface is referred to as “flowback” or “produced water.” This waste fluid is usually “injected underground for disposal,” but in some cases it is treated with more chemicals and then discharged into water sources (“The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing”).
The process of hydraulic fracturing has made it easier to reach gas and oil reserves that used to be impossible to access, this has led to a dramatic expansion of energy production and an increase in the activity level of the economy (Hassett and Mathur). The use of hydraulic fracturing and directional horizontal drilling are being used together to reach oil and gas that was previously unreachable with old drilling methods (Romich and Schumacher). In Ohio, there have been at least 80,000 natural gas and oil wells that have used fracking at varying depths (“Hydraulic Fracturing”). There are areas in Eastern Ohio that contain deposits of dry gas (farthest east) and wet gases and