Natural Gas & Oil in Colorado

By: Katie Megerle

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel,when marine animals and plants died millions of years ago and layers of these animals and plants were covered up with sand and silt. These fossils are under pressure and very intense heat for millions of years. The energy that the animals and plants gathered from the sun before they died is stored as a form of carbon and natural gas. Natural Gas is mined very similar to oil. The workers drill a hole through the sand and dirt to find a natural gas deposit. After they find they find the deposit, they begin to suck it out and sell it trough out the world. At the power plants, the burning of natural gas can produce nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxides. From burning natural gas, sulfur dioxide and mercury compounds are not a big problem to worry about.


Oil is formed when dead plants and marine animals millions of years ago, float to the bottom of lakes or oceans and get covered up with sand/ silt. Heat and pressure from these layers helped turn these remains into what we call today, crude oil. Crude oil is a black and yellow liquid which is usually found on the bottom of lakes under all the sand and rocks. Scientists then come to the river and test the rocks and measurements are taken, and if the lake seems to have crude oil, then we start drilling. Crude oil is 50% used for gasoline, 40% for diesel fuel,heating oil, jet fuel, and kerosene, and 10% residual fuel oil.

What is fracking ?

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of withdrawing natural gas from the from the rock layers deep within the earth. The manufactures then start to, "set up shop" where they believe has natural gas. After they start to set up they start to drill through the rocks and gravel to get to whats called shale rock which has natural gas contained inside. To get to the shale rock the workers drill down 10,000 feet and then they pump whats called "fracking fluid" which is thousands of pounds of sand, water, and up to 600 chemicals. These chemicals include lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydraulic acid, and formaldehyde. After the " fracking fuel" reaches the end of the well, very intense pressure causes the shale rocks to break and that makes more cracks which then helps the natural gas flow back up to the surface to be gathered, and sold. After this processes 30 - 50% of the "fracking fuel" is collected and 50- 70% is left to sit in the ground and water wells, and this fuel is not biodegradable which means it will never get out of the ground and water systems.

Pros & Cons about fracking


~ In the past few years the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, recorded that they hired more than 72,000 gas and oil jobs from the increase of horizontal drilling and fracking for natural gas.

~ Natural gas from fracking has cut carbon pollution by 20%


~ 8 million gallons of water is used to do 1 fracking job.

~ During the process, methane gas and toxic chemicals can leak out of the well and contaminate near by water that we use to drink daily. These chemicals can cause respiratory, and neurological damage due to the contaminated water.

~ 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals are needed to run our current gas wells.

~ It can cause earthquakes where they have never happened.

Pros & Cons about oil and natural gas


~ Natural gas is widley used and contributes to 21% of the world energy production.

~ For natural gas there is no residue or waste to deal with after we burn it.

~ Oil is very abundant and is very useful

~ Oil industries also create many jobs in the U.S.A


~ Oil is not a natural resource, so is we use it all at once, it will tak emillions of years to get more.

~ If the United States runs out of oil, then we would have to buy from other countries and it's very expensive.

~ Natural oil contains 80-95% of methane, a potent green house gas.

My Opinion

In my opinion I think that we should continue using natural gas and oil because it is a big part of out world energy. Even tough it can cause problems and water contamination. i think we need to use natural gas and oil.