What the Frack

The first video is the hydraulic fracturing process according to the gas and oil companies who are doing it.  Basically they drill a mile below the surface, which is far, far below the water source. Once the pipe is passed the water, they coat the steel pipe with cement. Additional cases may cemented to the pipe to prevent leakage. I’m not exactly sure what kind of logic these people are using, but I just want to point out that if you walk down a sidewalk, you’re bound to see more than a few cracks in it and those cracks are found on something just walk or bike on. What kind of permanent solution will cement  be. But it’s just my thought. Traditional drilling stops at what they call ‘the kick off point’. At this point, hydraulic fracturing curves to go horizontal. This gives fractures the ability to drill several sites from one pad. The drill pipe is then removed and replaced with casing, which is cemented in place. Something they call a perforating gun will go off to fracture the first of the rock and put hole in the casing and interestingly the cement to let the gas through. Next they pump a ‘few’ chemicals into the ground. They say a few and then have a picture of 30 different pumps, but to be fair the ‘few’ chemicals only make up .5 percent of the hydraulic formula. But again, to be fair, it would be well to consider that 3 million to 5 million gallons of water are pumped into these sites.  The ‘few’ chemicals are mainly for lubrication and keeping the rocks apart to let the gas come through. They plug that section of the pipe and use the perforating gun again to fracture the next portion of the rock. They repeat this for however long, sometimes for several miles. Once they’re done they cement the pipes, remove their pad and according to this video leave it just as they found it or better. I guess this is how they define better. There is a clear cut off point from where they fracked and what they left alone.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/09/news/economy/epa_fracking_wyoming/index.htm

Or I guess I would take the scenic route just to be able to see this beautiful landscape also.

http://www.uswateralliance.org/tag/hydro-fracking/

The water with the ‘few’ chemicals either gets recycled at another site or gets disposed according to U.S. regulations.

 

(This video doesn’t have sound.)

This video suggests the process presents more problems than it really solves. This video shares my concern about the cement not being the more surefire answer to keeping the toxins out of the ground water. It also points out that when the flowback, the water with the ‘few’ chemicals that has to be recycled or properly disposed of, is stored they put it in lined pits. These lined pits, shockingly, aren’t always lined properly and the toxic water leaks to the ground water.

Here is a web site of all the ‘few’ chemicals they use in the fracking solutions, what they are used for and other things that the chemicals are found in.

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4 responses to “What the Frack

  1. This whole thing makes me nervous. As you said, I don’t think cement is the answer. It always cracks sooner or later. The methane and other chemicals leaking is almost inevitable isn’t it? Also I worry that fracking makes the whole environment unstable. Doesn’t it? Thanks for this clear explanation, though I cannot say that it has reassured me!

    • Fracking is said to cause earthquakes, but like most things these days, the companies are too irresponsible to test for that or admit that there could be a problem. I didn’t mean for it to reassure people, I just wanted people to know what they’re supporting when they buy natural gas. Thank you for your thoughts. How is the recovery in Jamaica coming?

      • No, I know you didn’t mean to reassure actually, just to give us the facts. The recovery in Jamaica is coming along quite well, apart from some rural areas in the eastern part of the island that are really suffering – still without power or water, and hundreds of people who have lost their homes. Other areas are quite recovered, now. It all depends on where you live, and whether you are a “have” or a “have not,” sadly…

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