TO FRACK OR NOT TO FRACK, THAT IS THE QUESTION!!!
This is our Earth ,and these are our Oceans , and we need to protect them like the Air and our emotions. Fracking is a very controversial subject that has its pros and its cons. Lets try to look at the best argument to frack or not to frack…first off …
What is FRACKING?
Hydraulic fracturing (also called fracking, fracing, hydrofracking, fraccing, frac’ing, and hydrofracturing) is a well stimulation technique involving the fracturing of bedrock formations by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of ‘fracking fluid’ (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.
Hydraulic fracturing enables the extraction of natural gas and oil from rock formations deep below the earth’s surface (generally 2,000–6,000 m (5,000–20,000 ft)), which is greatly below typical groundwater reservoir levels. That’s what the clever wiki says… (I wonder who pays them to edit it.)
Lets break that down. Fracking is fracturing. The technique fractures the bedrock to allow gas or oil to move out or be stimulated to move out of the ground. High pressure injection of water and sand and other chemical agents act as a wedge to OPEN the crack …to allow the precious liquid or gas to come out.
When was it invented ?
Its been around as a method since 1865. Colonel Roberts a civil war veteran filed a patent for it. In the old days nitroglycerin and other explosives were used to stimulate the flow of oil from the ground. Hydraulic fracking was invented by Floyd Farris and Joseph Clark and the first experiments were carried out in 1947. Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company started using it as a technique around 1950. Modern industrial fracking exercises now use massive amounts of fluids to acquire maximum results. We are talking 150 tonnes of liquids going into the Earth at high pressure. Its 90% water … and the rest sand and sludge to keep the cracks open…and to stimulate the Earth to give up its valuable resource.
As of 2012, 2.5 million “frac jobs” had been performed worldwide on oil and gas wells; over one million of those within the U.S.
George Mitchell the father of modern fracking perfected a new shale technique of horizontal well fracking to squeeze more oil from the ground that was thought previously to be unprofitable.
Fluid is typically a slurry of water, proppant, and chemical additives. Additionally, gels, foams, and compressed gases, including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and air can be injected. Typically, 90% of the fluid is water and 9.5% is sand with chemical additives accounting to about 0.5%. However, fracturing fluids have been developed using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propane in which water is unnecessary.
What other uses are there of fracking ?
To stimulate groundwater wells
As a means of enhancing waste remediation, usually hydrocarbon waste or spills
To dispose waste by injection deep into rock
To measure stress in the Earth
Since the late 1970s, hydraulic fracturing has been used, in some cases, to increase the yield of drinking water from wells in a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, and South Africa.
So far it looks pretty rosy….
The Benefits of Fracking ?
OK so we now know what fracking is and who invented it and for what. So what are the benefits of fracking ? What has it done for me lately?
Firstly, it provides lots of money and jobs.! WEALTH. Something which makes the politicians, voters and business people happy. EVERYBODY LOVES MONEY RIGHT?
Fracking has upended the American energy system. It has brought substantial benefits to the nation in terms of lower energy prices, greater energy security, reduced air pollution, and fewer carbon emissions (although its long-run impact on carbon emissions is less clear). According to Forbes.
Increasing reliance on natural gas, rather than coal, is indisputably creating widespread public health benefits, as the burning of natural gas produces fewer harmful particles in the air. The major new supply of natural gas produced through fracking is displacing the burning of coal, which each year contributes to the early death of thousands of people. Coal made up about 50 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2008, 37 percent by 2012; meanwhile, natural gas went from about 20 percent to about 30 percent during that same period. In particular, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced dramatically. Fracking saves lives, and it saves them right now and not at some indiscernible date well into the future.
We know that, at the power plant level, natural gas produces only somewhere between 44 and 50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions compared with burning of coal. This is known for certain; it’s basic chemistry. That is a gigantic benefit.
Drinking Water ?
It is highly unlikely that well-run drilling operations, which involve extracting oil and gas from thousands of feet down in the ground, are creating cracks that allow chemicals to reach relatively shallow aquifers and surface water supplies. Drinking water and oil and gas deposits are at very different levels in the ground.
Water intensity is lower for fracking than other fossil fuels and nuclear: Coal, nuclear and oil extraction use approximately two, three, and 10 times, respectively, as much water as fracking per energy unit, and corn ethanol may use 1,000 times more if the plants are irrigated.
Earthquakes are a naturally occurring phenomenon, and even in the few instances where fracking operations likely contributed to them, they were minor. We’ve had tens of thousands of wells drilled over many years now, and there are practically zero incidents in which operations-induced seismic effects impacted citizens.
So overall fracking seems to have societal benefits that have brought an economic boom to communities with little environmental impact and indeed even lowering of greenhouse gas
emissions and demand for coal which is more harmful for the Earth. !!
Currently, 84% of global energy needs are supplied by energy from hydrocarbons, with oil accountable for 35%. Though crude oil has proven to be a valuable energy resource (infrastructure in place, energy efficiency), the depletion of conventional reservoirs mean we must look for a new source. Nuclear energy offers an energy per unit mass that is ten times greater than that for oil, whilst alternate energies offer an exponentially lower carbon output. Unfortunately, each of these comes with its own complications too, highly radioactive waste and inefficient energy supply respectively.
A popular solution to the energy crisis is to turn to natural gas as our primary source of energy.
Fracking seems to be the way out and the way forward to solve our unquenchable thirst for cheap energy. And it boosts our local economy…
Now lets look at the CONS of fracking !… and there’s a few
I went to Standing Rock to protest the pipeline under the river. On the face of it a pipeline transports oil from fracking and shale fields much more safer than if it was trucked. We’ve also seen the United States become the largest fossil fuel energy provider and even exporter since the advent of fracking. Why should we worry at all then ?
Firstly, the science is not conclusive on environmental impact. What is becoming clearer is that earthquakes and seismic activities have increased since 2003 when fracking became the in thing….
This may or may not be because of fracking. Remember… you are fracturing or cracking the Earth… you are opening up cracks in the bedrock. The pressures involved mean that you are weakening the bedrock formations over time. There can be no doubt that it does increase seismic activity as a result. In fact in the early part of last century in Pennsylvania flaming water from taps were reported. It may be that fracking has been around for some time but it is only in the last 20 years and especially in the last decade that it has become a big thing. In fact on my visit to Chief Arvol Looking horse I had a strong dream of seeing fire geysers spurting OUT from the Earth… !!!
I could see fire geysers pouring out lava from the Earth itself. Make no mistake… fracking is a dangerous long term solution and this alone can lead to things that may threaten our very survival. It is NOT a sustainable method of gas extraction and should be banned within 20 years or less.
But even if we are wrong on this point… there is another … in fact a BIG reason that makes it a dangerous activity for humans in the long term.
THIS is the big one… Radioactivity in fracking wastewater comes from the interaction between a chemical slurry and ancient shale during the hydraulic fracturing process, according to Dartmouth College research. … But the wastewater that is produced contains toxins like barium and radioactive radium.
Oil-and-gas wells produce nearly a trillion gallons of toxic waste a year!
Commonly used testing methods may underestimate the total radioactivity of wastewater produced by gas wells that use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to tap the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation in the northeastern United States, concludes a new study.
Last year, Andrew Nelson, a doctoral candidate in human toxicology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) write an analysis that concluded that agency-recommended testing methods may understate some measures of radioactivity.
Samples collected put average readings of the radiation in brine 100 or more times sometime evn 200 times whats regarded as normal acceptable amounts of radiation. THATS pretty bad…so what happens to all this brine water that is toxic or the other waste from fracking operations?
Good question… Its regarded as household waste and dumped in landfills. In the large part. And what happens over time to that radioactive waste? It seeps into the ground water which is used in drinking water or its recycled and filtered…and put back into the eco system… but what happens to the radioactivity? Good question… the bad news is it doesnt just disappear. It goes into your drinking water.
To cut a long story short the fossil fuel industry has known about radioactive hazards in the industry since the eighties and have lobbied Washington with millions of dollars each year to keep it quiet.
The radioactivity in drill cuttings is sometimes 28 000 times the safe level. It isnt by accident that cancer is the biggest cause of death in America. Oil and gas workers are more susceptible to radioactive poisoning than the average citizen and because there is so much untreated waste going back into the eco system and filtering into aquifers and on the wind… the potential for contamination is astronomical.
If this waste was properly treated it would make fracking and indeed the entire fossil fuel industry unprofitable.
So radioactivity IS the biggest con to this industry which has increased 8 fold in the last decade… short term gain for long term pain!!! That’s fracking…
IT GIVES YOU CANCER, POLLUTES YOUR WATER SUPPLY AND POISONS THE EARTH…mmmm… not so bad really… oh yeah… and causes an increase in noise levels from trucks and seismic activities…EARTHQUAKES. And even if that’s exaggerated … do you want to live with that risk? Methane in the water supply…?
WATER IS LIFE!
I haven’t mentioned of course the noise and damage to local environment or the cost of capping wells at end of life. 24 hours the wells or frackpads need to be supplied with toxic chemicals and have to remove waste as well as oil… up and down…its a 24 hour operation. MONEY NEVER SLEEPS.
Europe and the UK are fracking and the industry is growing despite the protests…although in Eastern Europe it has been banned. Fracking has helped to lower oil and gas prices to such a degree that recently … they were PAYING you to take it away!!!
The end result is that currently there are over 1 million wells in the United States today alone. The demand for oil will continue for the next 30 years but our Earth cannot handle fracking for much longer. Our air is being polluted and the CO2 emissions are warming up our oceans too fast.
So that is why we at earthoceans are developing a solar electric car and in our little way are trying to become more sustainable. Our project in Kenya has been running now for 5 years but its a small drop in the ocean. By 2030 we must move away from fossil fueled driven vehicles. We have 10 years to end fracking worldwide in my opinion. Even if it was ended today… we would still have a environmental and health hazard on our hands and we would have to invest billions in a clean up operation. It must end.
Already new science is coming out that the fracking pads actually contaminate groundwater by toxic blowback and methane is being mixed into the water supply which not only affects our overall health but also the health of everything that grows on the land. In some places in Pennsylvania you can light a cigarette from the flaming water! …That’s bad. SO what FUTURE is that for our children and our children’s children?
But in the politics of expediency… we continue to use fossil fuels overall. Fracking may be better than coal , but in the long term it is worse. I’m sure I haven’t mentioned other cons of fracking but I will try to revive this subject in future.
If we work harder towards creating renewable alternative energy security we don’t have to compromise our integrity.
I asked the chief…” Is it too late for human beings? “ To which he replied… NO… BUT we have to act quickly !”-(to purify our planet from our greed and selfishness.) -And most of all this purification has to start with us. We have to take responsibility now.
WE CANNOT EXCHANGE SHORT TERM GAIN FOR LONG TERM PAIN!
To frack or not to frack? It shouldn’t even be the question. We need to move away from these harmful technologies.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE OR COMMENT . THANKS
Here’s a few good videos on the subject