Hydraulic Fracturing



Production of Natural Gas


Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is used to power 25% of the United States energy. Natural gas is found underground roughly 5,000 to 20,000 feet in different formations of rock. These formations include coal, shale, and sandstone. This type of fossil fuel is extracted from the earth in a process known as hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a chemical process that separates the natural gas from the rock below the earth's surface. It involves a process that drills vertically and horizontally into the formation. The drilling goes vertically until the formation of rock is reached and then drilled horizontally in the layer of rock. Engineers and geologists use different angles of drilling to avoid drilling through freshwater below the surface. A specialized chemical formula made up of different chemicals, water, and sand is injected into the formation of rock. This formula fractures and breaks the rock which allows for the natural gas to escape and be harnessed for energy. With this process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking", pollution is a major social and political concern. Putting these chemicals directly into the earth's rock levels cause pollution to the layers above these formations. As the rock fractures the fluid used begins to move up to the earth's surface. Getting into the freshwater system and polluting drinking water. The fluid will eventually reach the surface and become hazardous to wildlife and the environment. By having waste product from fracking on the earth's surface creates a hazard to all living organisms in the area and also the land and property. This water becomes unsafe to drink and becomes a waste product. It also is unsafe to touch or be exposed to. Along with pollution, fracking is a huge consumption of water. 90% of the solution used for fracking is made up of water. Currently there are 44 drilling wells in the united states alone that drill for natural gas. During a wells' life span a well will use up somewhere around 5 million gallons of water. All of the water used for each well becomes waste and is not reusable.The process of hydraulic fracturing is leaving a large economic footprint in the worlds freshwater supply. This process is causing harm to the immediate area it takes place in and also has an affect on the whole world.