Green Leaf Find us on Google+ Web Analytics

Facebook like button

Green Leaf Headline Animator

Friday, July 27, 2012

What is fracking, or hydro fracking all about anyway?

Well, the term fracking is used by the fossil fuel industry to describe a way to find oil and natural gas as well (to be fair this process can actually be used for water wells also). Sometimes fracking is described as 'hydrofracking'. The reason for this is quite simple-- they use a 'fluid' to do their fracking, thus making it hydro.

So why is the fossil fuel industry using this concept now to drill for oil and natural gas? Again the answer to that is quite simple-- we have already passed the days of peak oil, therefore all the major players in the fossil fuel industry such as Exxon etal are using hydro fracking to find more oil.

This technique goes by several names: fraccing, fracking, hydrofracking, or the real word for it, hydraulic fracturing. It was invented in like 1947 by Floyd Farris & J.B. Clark of the Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation. So it is not by any means new technology, it is antiquated if you ask me; as everything else from that era really. But modern fracking was developed 1997, in the Barnett Shale area in Texas to extract shale gas.

To give you a visual on what hydraulic fracturing encompasses, here is a good diagram thanks to out friends at Wikipedia
graphic representing the act of hydraulic fracturing, courtesy of wikipedia and mike norton
Perhaps now you at least have a picture in your head of what hydraulic fracturing consists of. But to take a step back to the history of hydraulic fracturing; a patent on this process was issued in 1949 and an exclusive license was granted to the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company. That is correct, Halliburton has been relying on this technology for over sixty years!

Now I have to explain some terminology to you. A proppant is a material that will keep a induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment. The first use of proppant in fracturing was in the Soviet Union in 1952. Of course this technology was quickly spread to Western Europe.

While the main industrial use of hydraulic fracturing is in arousing production from oil and gas wells, hydraulic fracturing is also applied: To stimulate groundwater wells, To precondition or induce rock to cave in mining, As a means of enhancing waste remediation processes, usually hydrocarbon waste or spills, To dispose of waste by injection into deep rock formations, As a method to measure the stress in the earth, For heat extraction to produce electricity in an enhanced geothermal systems, To increase injection rates for geologic sequestration of CO2.

Now fracking has been in the news recently, mostly for good reason I would say. What is making the main stream media news is not the act of fracturing at all, but rather all of the chemicals that is being used in the fluid. Also of interest are the proppants which are being used. Why is this such BIG news-- because the fossil fuel industry is claiming that such chemicals which they used are covered under proprietary licenses. What does that mean you might ask-- it means a 'trade secret' in other words. And a trade secret that they say would harm them if they had to discuss what was in their proprietary blends.

Just like the fossil fuel industry to put profits way above lives! I mean they are more or less contaminating our groundwater with millions of gallons of their toxic, proprietary 'fluids'. It does not take much of the right chemical to contaminate millions of gallons of our water. That is right it is 'our' water, not theirs. But they have been haphazardly contaminating our groundwater for over sixty years. There is much more specific information which I could go into. If anyone has a question or desires to know more about this process, just leave me a comment on this story and I would be more than glad to answer it for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment