Hydraulic Fracturing

Topics: Petroleum, Oil well, Shale gas Pages: 1 (338 words) Published: August 3, 2013
Hydraulic fracturing is a water-intensive industrial process that drillers use to collect the natural gas held in shale formations. Shale gas has become an increasingly important energy resource in the U.S. Fracking fluid contains water, salt, sand, and hazardous industrial chemicals. This fluid is injected at high pressure underground into geologic formations. The salty water, sand, and chemical mixture forces natural gas up through the well bore to the surface for collection through pipelines. It is currently being used in the U.S. in the states of North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Louisiana. As for Europe it is being used primarily in central Europe going eastward and on up. In South America it is primarily in central part of South America going south toward the end of South America’s tip.

Hydro fracking has many benefits to the economy but along with those comes questionable negative effects. “The direct benefit of increasing oil and gas production includes the value of increased production attributable to the technology. In 2011, the USA produced 8,500,983 million cubic feet of natural gas from shale gas wells. Taking an average price of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet, that's a value of about $36 billion, due to shale gas alone.” (Hassett, Mathur, 2013) That is a lot of money that can be made due to just shale gas alone. Hydro fracking also will allow potential employment opportunities for people without jobs. One more direct benefit is that it would decrease the amount of natural gas and petroleum imports shipping into the US. We will have our own resources here to use. Although fracking to develop natural gas offers many benefits, its rapid expansion near densely populated areas has increased attention to its effects on human health and the environment. Cases of water contamination have been linked to natural gas operations, including incidences of spills and leaks.

Sources:
Hassett, Kevin, and Aparna Mathur. "Benefits of Hydraulic...
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