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Advantages Of The Hydraulic Fracturing - Essay Example

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Hydraulic Fracturing is a procedure of the extraction of oil and gas that cannot be obtained through other methods. It is also referred to as fracking. The writer of the paper "Advantages Of The Hydraulic Fracturing" discusses an economic benefit of this process…
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Advantages Of The Hydraulic Fracturing
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Advantages Of The Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing which is also referred to as fracking is a procedure which has been gaining popularity owing to its assistance in the extraction of oil and gas that cannot be obtained through other methods (Frosch). This method allows for the creation of eithernew paths of gas production or the extension of old paths. The oil and gas is gained from shale rock by first drilling deep in the Earth till the rock layer is reached. This is followed by blasting the rock underneath with a large quantity of water which has a high pressure. The water that is blasted is basically a mixture containing various chemicals and sand. This high pressure mixture provides for an outward path for the gas and oil (DECC).
Hydraulic fracturing has many advantages. The most significant advantage is that greater quantities of fossil fuels can be produced through this method. This provides for an economic benefit which can be understood by the reduction in the gas price in the United States due to increased production. It also provides for accessibility and production from oil and gas reserves which could otherwise not be utilized. The United States and Canada have achieved the maximal benefit and they can rely upon gas production through fracking for the next hundred years. Another added benefit of this technique is that it allows the generation of electricity through natural gas. This is beneficial to the environment because electrical energy produced from natural gas results in the release of half the amount of carbon dioxide in comparison to the electricity produced from coal. Furthermore, hydraulic fracturing has provided for an economic boost to the areas where this process is carried out. It provides for employment opportunities for the local people (DECC; Koch).
Despite of the benefits of hydraulic fracturing, many concerns have been raised regarding the usage of this technique. It is argued that a very large quantity of water is required at the site of hydraulic fracturing which incurs environmental costs. Also the water which is blasted into the rock layer contains various chemicals. These chemicals seep into ground water and pollute it affecting the quality of water available in the local area for the residents. Another environmental problem posed by fracking is that it can lead to earthquakes of low magnitudes. The last negative aspect cited by environmentalists is that hydraulic fracturing diverts the government and its agencies from spending on energy sources that are renewable and do not pollute the environment. It rather increases the reliance of the nations upon fossil fuels (DECC).
The United States is the nation which has the highest rate of production of natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing. In the year 2012, approximately 39 percent of the natural gas production in the country was through the process of fracking. According to an expert from the Energy Information Administration, gas is produced in substantial amounts through fracking only in the United States and Canada. This has greatly benefited America as the production of natural gas has increased more than thrice since the year 2005 (Koch).Fracking is a beneficial procedure but the government should also divert its funds and resources to check for alternative energy sources which are renewable and environment friendly.
Works Cited
DECC. “What is fracking and why is it controversial?”BBC News UK. BBC News UK,27 Jun. 2013. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Frosch, Dan. In Land of Gas Drilling, Battle for Water That Doesn’t Reek or Fizz. The New York Times.The New York Times,2 Jun. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Koch, Wendy. Fracking puts U.S. first in shale gas production. USA Today. USA Today,23 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. Read More
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