Major Consequences of Fracking
How it works
Fracking is a Process that Oil Companies use to get Oil and other Natural Gases that are trapped in Shale Rock. The process involves using high pressured amounts of water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals which is called slurry through holes in an underground well pipe (Miller & Spoolman , 2019 ).This is done in order to fracture the shale rock so that the oil and natural gases can come to the surface. Only about half of the slurry comes to the surface with the oil and natural gases (Miller & Spoolman , 2019 ).The other half of the slurry contains a mixture of natural occurring salts, toxic heavy metals and radioactive materials. They dispose of the toxic waste by injecting it under high amounts of high pressured water into deep underground hazardous waste wells (Miller & Spoolman , 2019 ).While the process of Fracking is not new it has become a more popular way of getting oil and natural gases. According to Steve Munson America produces 11.1 million barrels of Oil from fracking a day. With production like this fracking is a booming business that is not going anywhere as long as the World has a need and a dependency for Oil.
There are many benefits to fracking one of them being more access to Oil and Gas. According to Forbes Magazine as a result of fracking U.S production of Oil and Natural gas has increased dramatically which in turn lowered energy prices (Greenstone, 2018).It has also helped lower air pollution and carbon emission by replacing coal. Another benefit is that it puts money back in the pockets of Americans. Forbes Magazine said that the Communities who have let fracking be done have seen many benefits form it one was the amount of jobs that they added to the community they have also seen a housing boom from people moving there for the jobs that fracking offered (Greenstone, 2018).That in turn helped the local community thrive. While these are some of the benefits from fracking there are also many downsides to it too.
How it works
One of the biggest problems with Fracking is that it uses so much water. There have already been cases of water being contaminated due to the Fracking companies not being responsible in cleaning up the waste when there done fracking. It also cause a problem because it can contaminate the towns water supply. Another disadvantage is that it is quite noisy for those who live near where the fracking is being done (Future Of Working , n.d.). It also can be noisy due the trucks and other vehicles that have to go through town to get to the fracking operation. It can also be harmful to the workers. As it was said earlier Fracking reacquires working with hazardous chemicals and the workers are exposed to them. According to an article by future of working not all companies comply with safety regulations when it comes to their workers who work with these hazardous chemicals (Future Of Working , n.d.)They also say the not all companies have their workers were protective gear when they are working with these hazardous chemicals. There has also been seismic activity that can be linked to fracking.
There are also some solutions to fracking other than water to free the oil and natural gases from shale rock. But they also have their own setbacks and limitations. One of them is to replace traditional fracking fluid with nitrogen, carbon based fluid, propane or chemical additives. This is called Liquefied Petroleum Gas Fracking this prevents the need to recover and treat the water for chemicals (Westerling, 2015 ).While this is an alternative it also has its own setbacks and limitations this process can only work for certain shale rock that are in remote location that water cannot get to (Westerling, 2015 ).There is also concerns about its cost and safety in regards to the chemicals that would be used are flammable and if done wrong could cause a problem .
Another method is foam based fracking instead of using water a foam would be used with a small amount of water and Nitrogen and CO2 (Greenstone, 2018).This technique was created to help overcome some problems with certain Shale Rock in order to make production more efficient. This method is used when the water preserve pressure is too low to drive water out the wells (Westerling, 2015 ).As with Liquefied Petroleum Gas Fracking it has its own setbacks also. One of them is that it can help with certain Shale Rock and when its used it only produces about half of Oil and Natural gases that would normally be produced with regular fracking.
The Final Alternative Method would be Channel Fracking Technology. This method has the most potential in conserving water use in the future (Westerling, 2015 ).This is due to is already wide use and effectiveness as alternative to traditional fracking . The Technology is based on proppants and the manipulation of their behavior (Westerling, 2015 ).By doing this it allows the gas to move more freely which in turn increase production by 60% and reducing water by 80% (Westerling, 2015 ).It also is environmentally safe and reduces operations cost. This method has been adopted by fracking operations in the U.S and around the World.
In all I believe that the consequences of Fracking outweigh the benefits form it. First Fracking is just prolonging the inevitable fact that one day there is going to be no more Oil. We eventually have to find an alternative to Oil and Fracking is only just prolonging that reality. Another problem is that Fracking is using water unsustainably as it was stated earlier fracking requires a huge amount of water and the Earth has a fixed amount of water. When water is not available where the fracking is taking place they rely on lakes, rivers and other sources of water to get what they need in order to frack. Thus making access to water that much more of a problem for everyone in the region. In all while Fracking might be good for now it will hurt us in the long run. We need to start conserving our Oil so we don’t have to rely on fracking.