Hydraulic Fracking

What is Hydraulic Fracking?

"Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in nine out of ten natural gas wells in the United States, where millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release the gas."



PROCESS:

A steel surface or intermediate casings are inserted into the well to depths of between 1,000 and 4,000 feet. The space between these casing “strings” and the drilled hole (wellbore), called the annulus, is filled with cement. Once the cement has set, then the drilling continues from the bottom of the surface or intermediate cemented steel casing to the next depth. This process is repeated, using smaller steel casing each time, until the oil and gas-bearing reservoir is reached (generally 6,000 to 10,000 ft).

Where does the gas come from? ○Marcellus Shale

Marcellus Shale is a sedimentary rock buried thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface. Marcellus Shale is a geological formation that was formed by the accumulation of sediment into a sea. This formation was eventually buried over many thousands of years and compressed to produce an organic-rich black shale. This geological formation dates back to the Devonian time period and it stretches from upstate New York, south through Pennsylvania, to West Virginia, and west to parts of Ohio.

Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania

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Good or Bad?

Bad

I am against hydraulic fracking. I think that hydraulic fracking

•interferes with people's homes and farms

•contaminates drinking water

•uses too many dangerous chemicals

•and causes earthquakes.

A new report has found dozens of cases of illness, death and reproductive issues in cows, horses, goats, llamas, chickens, dogs, cats, fish and other wildlife, and humans. It says these conditions could be the result of exposure to gas drilling operations.

•In Louisiana, 17 cows died within an hour of direct exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluid.

•A farmer separated his herd of cows into two groups: 60 were in a pasture with a creek where hydrofracking wastewater was allegedly dumped; 36 were in separate fields without creek access. Of the 60 cows exposed to the creek water, 21 died and 16 failed to produce calves the following spring. None of the 36 cows in separated fields had health problems, though one cow failed to breed in the spring.

•Another farmer reported that 140 of his cows were exposed to hydrofracking fluid when wastewater impoundment was allegedly slit, and the fluid drained into a pasture and a pond.Of the 140 cows, about 70 died, and there were high incidences of stillborn and stunted calves.

Approximately 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracture, and up to 600 chemicals used in the fracking fluid such as hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol, methanol, sulfuric acid, and formaldehyde. Methane gas and other toxic chemicals leach out and contaminate nearby drinking water. There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water. Only 30-50% of the fracturing fluid is recovered, the rest of the toxic fluid is left in the ground and 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. In the end, hydraulic fracking produces approximately 300,000 barrels of natural gas a day, but at the price of numerous environmental, safety, and health hazards. Scientists have long known that injecting fluids underground can cause earthquakes. Despite this fact, neither state nor federal regulations require operators of hydraulically fractured wells or disposal wells to evaluate the risk of induced earthquakes when deciding where to site wells or how to operate them. Earthquakes caused by oil and gas production activities have been happening across the U.S., including in places where natural earthquakes are uncommon. "It’s time for regulators everywhere to put public health and safety first!"