Fracking: 10 Things Everyone Should Know

Source: Energy Tribune, Peter Glover  (4/25/11)

"New developments like recycling water ease fears about overuse."

"In N.Y. state, no more drilling for fossil fuels" read one banner, as anti-fracking (hydraulic-fracturing) protesters gathered outside the Capitol building in Albany, New York State. Here are 10 fracking things everyone should know:
  • Hydraulic fracking has been around for 60 years. Developments made by U.S. engineers around 2008–2009 have simply made the process much more commercially viable.
  • Since fracking was introduced in 1949, over 2 million frack treatments have been pumped without a single documented case of treatments polluting a water aquifer.
  • 90% of all gas wells drilled in the U.S. since 1949 have been fracked.
  • The depth of most shale gas deposits drilled is 6,000–10,000 feet; water aquifers exist at an average depth of 500 ft.
  • Claims of 'migration' between the shale gas layers and water aquifers due to fracking are patently absurd as the gas would have to pass through millions of tons of impermeable rock.
  • Fracture design engineers go to great lengths to avoid fracture growth of even 100 ft. to prevent losing production.
  • 99.5% of the treatment is water and sand. Much of the remainder is made up of a maximum of 12 or so harmless gelling agents like guar gum and household chemicals.
  • Dissolved methane found in well water may well be biogenic (naturally occurring). As the largest component in natural gas, methane is not even regulated as it is not toxic and escapes naturally.
  • drinking water and other key regulatory laws.
  • Concerns about using "excessive water resources" in the process are already being assuaged by new developments, including recycling water. And the U.S. Ground Water Protection Council confirms that drilling with compressed air is becoming increasingly common.
Fracking, Barnett Shale
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