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Marcellus Shale drilling in PA and its effect on the environment - Essay Example

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Environmental concerns of the Marcellus Shale Introduction The issues of environmental protection have been always positioned as the most crucial in the modern globalized world. A vivid discussion about the Marcellus Shale can be explained in the following terms: on the one hand it is a fruitful area of natural gas reserves beneath the surface of Pennsylvania, but on the other hand in order to extract this natural gas there is a need to implement environmentally risky technologies, which may cause a negative and destructive impact on local the supply of groundwater, use of land etc…
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Marcellus Shale drilling in PA and its effect on the environment
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, in order to evaluate a real situation of the natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, it is necessary to consider the most critical points of the industry in detail. Basic facts about the Marcellus Shale If to take into account the following data: 1,500 Marcellus Shale gas wells are located in Pennsylvania and it is supposed that 35,000 to 50,000 more will be developed soon by 2030 (Halperin 2010, p. 17), there is a great prospect to extract huge amounts of natural gas, which may win over oil extraction in Saudi Arabia. Due to the fact that Marcellus drilling operations caused numerous accidents and numerous environmental hazards, it can be claimed that environmentally concerns in the state violate environmental protection laws. On the one hand, it is impossible to correlate economical and environmental concerns in this case, because the society would pay a too high price for natural gas extraction. This particular case is often considered with respect to environmental concerns, because it is on-shore gas deposits in the world and contains a great potential being the largest fuel deposit helping to fill in the gap of the modern energy supply and remain independent from foreign energy resources. Environmental impact of the Marcellus Shale drilling There is no a single right idea defining the full extent of the local impacts from Marcellus Shale operations. Moreover, there is a need to consider this impact both at national and local levels. Of course, the proponents of gas extraction in Marcellus Shale claim that they act in compliance with environmental regulations and they take steps in order to satisfy the needs of the society and avoid economic destruction in the world. At the same time, their position is often supported by their compliance with environmental concerns. Currently, geologists underline that they have known about the natural gas resources of the Marcellus Shale formation for many years. On the one hand, massive gas exploration was considered to be too costly and complicated process and that is why only contemporaries try to embody this idea. Such technological advancement as specifically horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing enable modern engineers extracting natural gas beneath land. Possible environmental issues and community concerns about their health and many other issues have been raised in the discussion about potential environmental and community impacts caused by the drilling. Modern researches and studies are focused on water use and management concerns as well as the kind of the fluids used in the process of shell fracturing (Hiserodt, 2011). Horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing: the main choice is made between these two main areas. “The fact is that for hydraulic fracturing large volumes of water are needed. Therefore, it is supposed by the developers of the techniques implemented for hydraulic fracturing that large volumes of water are required for rocks fracturing and large amount of gas producing” (A Rush of Energy in Pennsylvania, 2011). Each well requires more than million gallons of water. It is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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