Hydraulic Fracturing

Freshwater biology, period 1

What is hydraulic fracturing?


The forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, especially to extract oil or gas.

Marcellus Shale- what is it? what does it have to do with natural gas production?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/04/04/a-look-at-chesapeakes-operations-in-the-marcellus-shale/Marcellus shale is also known as Marcellus formation. It is a unit of marine sedimentary rock believed to be formed millions of years ago under inland seas throughout the Appalachian mountains. Marcellus shale is the largest natural gas producing region in the United States, accounting for close to one-fifth of the country’s total gas production.

My opinion on hydraulic fracking


I think hydraulic fracturing is bad because all of negative side effects such as:

  • It takes 1-8 million gallons of water to complete each fracturing job.
  • About 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracture.
  • Up to 600 chemicals are used in "fracking fluid" including known carcinogens & toxins such as: lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, menthonal, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde.
  • A well can only be fractured 18 times.
  • There are 500,000 active gas wells in the US; to run these gas wells it used 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals.
  • During the fracturing process methane gas and toxic chemicals leak out of he system and contaminate the surrounding groundwater; methane concentrations are 17x higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than any other wells.
  • Contaminated well water that is ingested can lead to sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage.
  • 50-70% of fracking fluid is left in the ground when the process is done; fracking fluid is not biodegradable
  • The waste fluid is left in open air pits to evaporate, releasing harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone.
Dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing