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Hydraulic fracturing - Essay Example

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“Hydraulic fracturing” or “cracking” is a process of through which natural gas and oil are extracted from rocks that are deep below the earth’s surface. The process entails injecting massive quantity of water, sand and chemicals at an explosive pressure for the rocks…
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Hydraulic fracturing
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Extract of sample "Hydraulic fracturing"

“Hydraulic fracturing” or “cracking” is a process of through which natural gas and oil are extracted from rocks thatare deep below the earth’s surface. The process entails injecting massive quantity of water, sand and chemicals at an explosive pressure for the rocks to crack.. The pumped fluid contains tiny particles of solid materials known as proppants, which prop up the fractures to open once the production process begins. Additionally, the hydraulic fracturing fluids is usually water-based and contain different chemicals, as well as bactericides among others to promote the efficiency of the fracturing process and stop damage from taking place. After hydraulic fracturing, the pressure in the well is dropped and the water containing unconfined natural gas flow back to the well head at the surface leading to the formation of dykes and veins.
The boreholes are frequently diverged away from the upright, into sub horizontal alignments, to guarantee better and more capable coverage of the besieged shale gas tank.
Moreover, devoid of hydraulic fracturing, shale deposits would not generate natural gas and most low-permeability deposits would not be economical. Concerns about the excessive use of hydraulic fracturing have been raised by the public in the United States, and world wide due to the large volumes of water needed, the chemicals added to fracturing fluids, and the need to dispose off the fluids after wells have been accomplished.
Consequently, the environmental impacts of “hydraulic fracturing” include contamination of aquifers and ground water. By far, this is the most serious local environmental concern and possibly the most controversial concern. The potential threat to ground water comes from two sources namely the pumped fluid comprising of the mixture of water plus chemical, surface spills and the released natural gas. Secondly, chemical additives impact. Indeed, defining the acidic level of additives used in the fracking phase should be rather modest and measurable scientific duty; nevertheless, in some countries fracking enterprises are under no lawful obligation to proclaim the correct alignment of this mixture. The third impact is blow outs whereby if the liquid pumped does not break the rock volume around the bottom of the well as projected. As a result, the high fluid pressure drives the fluid into other open and other leaking paths. The paths include the pumping well bore, as well as other boreholes in the surrounding area that are not ceiled fully to accommodate the high pressures. This results to, explosive outbreak of drilling fluids and/or oil and gas from the adjacent wells resulting to pre-existing pervious connectivity at depth.
The fourth impact is water sources whereby sourcing the huge volumes of water needed for a prolonged fracking curriculum can be difficult, particularly in dry or depleted areas (Mooney 80). The fifty environmental effects include air and noise pollution that are caused by the drilling noise and emission of toxic air from the rocks. Sixty, surface impacts like increased truck traffic and road damage as a way of transporting the manufactured gas and oil to their respective storage areas. However, the greatest advantage is the fact that the process increases the rate at which various fluids which may include natural gas, petroleum and water are extracted from their natural reservoirs. This leads to creation of employment which is a big economic challenge in 3rd world countries. To wind up, fracking is a process that needs to be done by experts to avoid massive environmental consequences.
Work Cited
Mooney, Chris. "The Truth about Fracking." Scientific American 305.5 (2011): 80-85. Read More
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