Oil Production Through Horizontal Fracking

1030 Words Nov 19th, 2014 5 Pages
Summary

More than 60% of New Mexico is currently in a moderate to extreme drought. Water is a scarce resource in New Mexico, and care should be taken to limit excess water use. Oil production through horizontal fracking requires large amounts of purified water. Each well drilled requires between 3 and 7 million gallons of clean water. In 2012 alone, 482 new wells were drilled in New Mexico, producing more than 3 billion gallons of water waste. Under current regulations, wastewater must be cleaned or disposed of and cannot be reused. Fracking water is difficult to clean, leading many companies to dispose of much of the water deep underground. The water is stored so deep that it is essentially removed from the water cycle. New Mexico is behind other states such as Texas in allowing partially cleaned fracking fluids to be reused. By reusing drilling water, the consumption of clean water for drilling amid a drought will be reduced. This will also reduce the amount of fracking fluid disposed of in disposal wells.

Motivation

Society will require more energy in the future (Aguilera, et al. 2014) and renewable energy cannot yet sustain society’s energy requirements. Aguilera argues to “[encourage] the use of natural gas … as this is the cleanest fossil fuel available.” Use of natural gas for energy production has been increasing. Concomitant with this increase in natural gas production is an increasing popularity of a relatively new method of capturing natural gas…
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