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The War on Fracking Shale

As I sit here and write this, there is a war happening in this great nation of ours. This war however, has nothing to do with terrorism or drugs. Instead, it is a war on one of the oil industries most advanced methods of procuring oil.

I’m talking about fracking.

In this article we will be examining exactly what fracking is, why it is so controversial and dispel some of the controversy that surrounds it.

So, if you’re ready to jump in, let’s talk about how the war on fracking shale is a doing a great disservice to the oil industry.

What Is Fracking And Why Is It So Controversial?

Fracking is a method in which operators use hydraulic fracturing methods to retrieve gas and oil from shale rock deposits.

Generally, this process looks a little like this:

The operators drill down into shale rock layer either vertically or horizontally. Once this is complete, and a pathway has been created for the gas to make its way to the head of the well, a high-pressure water mixture is blasted into the rock thereby releasing the gas from the shale layer.

Here’s the problem that you most often here about when it comes to fracking; many people have voiced the concern that it may not be the best method to use when it comes to preserving the environment.

Many environmentalists have said that fracking methods may potentially release carcinogenic chemicals that are used throughout the process. On the flip side of that, many have instead suggested that this concern has more to do with quality control than the actual process itself.

The second issue revolves around the concern that fracking may also be able to cause small tremors in regions prone to earthquakes. While this is indeed something that can happen in certain areas, here is what the U.S. Geological Survey has to say about it:

"Reports of hydraulic fracturing causing felt earthquakes are extremely rare. However, wastewater produced by the hydraulic fracturing process can cause “induced” earthquakes when it is injected into deep wastewater wells.

Wastewater disposal wells typically operate for longer durations and inject much more fluid than wells that are extracting oil through hydraulic fracturing. Wastewater injection can raise pressure levels in the rock formation more than the process of hydraulic fracturing does and increases the likelihood of induced earthquakes.

Most wastewater injection wells are not associated with felt earthquakes. A combination of many factors is necessary for injection to induce felt earthquakes."

At the end of the day, what these concerns really come down to are issues of quality control, and anomalous situations.

Final Thoughts

No matter if you are an oil industry worker, or just a regular person who likes paying reasonable prices for gas, fracking is an issue on which everyone should educated.

Fracking is big business, and it comes with its share of pros and cons. All the hype aside though, fracking is a viable method that has supported and bolstered the gas and oil industry for well over 100 years. In that time, there have been a handful of incidents in comparison to the number of drilling sites and projects.

Fossil fuels are here to stay, and so is fracking… what do you think?