Free Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Swhitfield
Words 2345
Pages 10
Legal Issues in Hydraulic Fracturing

Demand for energy shows every promise of remaining high, and supplies of natural gas and oil worldwide are dwindling. Renewable and alternative energy sources – for example, wind-generated electricity, or nuclear power – are being developed and considered at the national level; however, at the time of writing more than half of the total energy consumed in the United States comes from oil and natural gas sources. Specifically, natural gas was – in 2011 – providing fully a quarter of the total energy consumed in the United States (Obama, 2013). Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, provides a means of exploiting the reserves of natural gas within United States territory. These natural gas reserves are positioned in such a way that they cannot typically be exploited by traditional methods, and instead are produced by a process of hydraulic fracturing. This means of oil and gas production is relatively new, and it remains controversial in terms of economics, safety and environmental cost. In addition to ecological, sociological and political considerations, there are many legal issues involved in the production of energy via hydraulic fracturing (Hagstrom and Adams, 2012).

Regulation
The actual activity of hydraulic fracturing is carried out by private corporations; however, the process is governed by multiple State and Federal regulations and laws. As the field of hydraulic fracturing is developing quickly and recently, legislation and regulation are likewise in a state of development. Significant public discomfort with the idea of hydraulic fracturing – and its potential environmental consequences – places pressure on legislators to pass regulations that protect the environment while allowing economic development via the hydraulic-fracturing industry. According to President Barack Obama’s April 13, 2012 Executive Order relating to hydraulic fracturing, onshore oil and gas production are primarily regulated and overseen by the individual States. Off-shore operations naturally do not take place on any specific state’s actual land; hydraulic fracturing happens on land, and involves significant local use of water resources in the production process (Tiemann & Vann, 2012). Therefore, States have a strong interest in regulating the on-shore activity that happens within their state lines (Obama, 2013). Federal legislation regulates on-shore hydraulic fracturing when this takes place on public land, or on Indian trust lands. In April 2013, President Obama stated the need for greater coordination and cooperation between State, Federal and other agencies in regulating and supporting safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing operations on-land in the United States.

Water Concerns and Regulation
Hydraulic fracturing can be used to produce natural gas from either sand formation or from shale formations. The latter is the fastest-growing means of domestic on-land gas production at the time of writing. Shale-gas hydraulic fracturing involves creation of a shale-gas well via drilling. The well is then finished and cased; once the well is complete hydraulic fracturing is used to stimulate the well to produce. The process of hydraulic fracturing necessarily creates disturbance; there are naturally concerns that surrounding groundwater may become contaminated as an unwanted side-effect of this process (Tiemann & Vann, 2012). The potential for contamination is significant, because creation of the shale-gas well typically involves drilling through the aquifer that lies closer to the ground’s surface. Even if the aquifer is not disturbed sufficiently to cause contamination, it is possible that later stimulation of the well for production could cause contamination of drinking water in the surrounding area. Any kind of leakage from the well’s operations, or from the initial creation of the well, has the potential to contaminate local water. Legislation and regulation is very necessary with regards to the drilling fluids used in shale-gas well production, and also in dealing with any accidental spills or leaks. Water usage and changes are key issues relating to hydraulic fracturing in general, and the legislation affecting this industry. The fracturing process itself involves significant water usage – water can be displaced or withdrawn from area lakes, rivers, streams and from the aquifer (Tiemann & Vann, 2012). The land surrounding a fracturing site may be temporarily or permanently changed; the operations can potentially have negative effects on local and regional air quality.

Disclosure and Accountability
The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) does not presently include requirements that companies producing oil and gas disclose the exact chemicals that are present in the fluids used for hydraulic fracturing. Public opinion could push states to change this regulation, so that companies are required to disclose the fluids they use in hydraulic fracturing as a part of the process leading to permits to conduct hydraulic fracturing on land (Hall, 2012).

Case Study: Louisiana
Water use is one of the reasons Louisiana has implemented state-level legislation relating to the industry and environmental protection. Louisiana’s Act 955 requires the state to enact legislation that protects water quality within the state, alongside other natural resources. The state is not allowed, under current legislation, to donate water to any project or corporation – this is grounded in the doctrine of water itself being a publicly-owned resource (Springer, 2011). Under Act 255, Louisiana may not allow large quantities of running water to be withdrawn from lakes, streams and the like – if this occurs, the net result is a technically unconstitutional donation of publicly-owned water resources (Springer, 2011).

In 2011, Springer (2011) stated that 90 percent of the gas wells in operation in the United States – a total of some 450,000 wells – were using the process of hydraulic fracturing to produce gas. Any individual fracking well may use millions of gallons of water during its operation. In the Haynesville Shale operations, the Louisiana Ground Water Resources Program found that 80 percent of the total water used was drawn from surface-level water sources (Springer, 2011). The Haynesville Shale wells used 1.5 billion gallons of water in under a year, at the time water use was measured by the LGWRP. Louisiana’s state Constitution legally requires water, and other natural resources, to be ‘protected, conserved, and replenished insofar as possible and consistent with the health, safety, and welfare of the people.’

Case Study: Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale provides a reserve of natural gas that had been inaccessible before the advent of hydraulic fracturing. As the Marcellus Shale site has been developed for fracking use, there have been challenges and some conflict relating to Pennsylvania’s existing state-level property laws. Title 58 covers oil and gas regulation within the state of Pennsylvania. In February 2012, Pennsylvania’s governor signed House Bill 1950, a law amending Title 58 specifically with regards to hydraulic fracturing practices within the state. HB1950 seeks to protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources and environment via a structured permitting process, while raising additional state-level revenue by charging specific fees for exploitation of oil and gas wells at Marcellus Shale (Sabino, 2012). Chapter 23 of the bill outlines this as an Unconventional Gas Well Fee. Each drilling of an unconventional well requires payment of a fee – the fee schedule is structured to take into account the current price of natural gas. The annual fee was set on a scale of between $40,000 and $50,000 per well, with the higher prices being charged when the prevailing annual price of natural gas was relatively high (Sabino, 2012). The per-well fee is highest in each well’s first year of operation, with fees decreasing annually for older wells. The intention of this provision is not immediately clear – it may be tied to the idea that wells become gradually exhausted over time, with newer wells likely to be producing more gas than wells that have been in operation for several years. Perhaps there is also some recognition of the fact that older wells may require more regular, and potentially costly, maintenance than new wells. The money raised from Pennsylvania’s unconventional gas-well fees is distributed via a central fund, with the state’s conservation districts first in line to receive monies from the fund (Sabino, 2012). Pennsylvania’s agencies dealing with fish and wildlife, emergency management and fire response also receive money from the fund. Overall, the new legislation in Pennsylvania appears designed to maximize exploitation of the Marcellus Shale, while raising significant revenue for state-funded conservation and emergency-response agencies and departments.

Criticism and Lawsuits
Public opponents of the practice of hydraulic fracturing in the United States presently focus upon the risk of damage to the environment that the process poses. At the time of writing, lawsuits had been brought on grounds of contamination (Springer, 2011). Individual towns and regions in multiple U.S. states – including New York and Pennsylvania – have banned fracking. On a Federal level, the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation brought a lawsuit regarding fracking and the safety of drinking water. Until the late 1990s, hydraulic fracturing had not been considered, under Federal law, to be regulated under the auspices of the (federal) Safe Drinking Water Act. The LEAF’s lawsuit led to a re-evaluation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in relation to its stance regarding fracking, and regulation of the domestic industry (Virginia Environmental Law Journal, 1999). The Safe Drinking Water Act is clearly relevant to the regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the United States, as this Federal-level legislation requires the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee and regulate any injection of fluids, -- liquids, solids or gases included – under the ground. As discussed earlier, in many regions there is no legislation that even requires private operators to disclose what fluids they are using in underground gas-well operations. Therefore the EPA’s responsibility to regulate underground fluid injection is necessarily obstructed by the current legislative situation and the general handing of legislative oversight over to states rather than the federal government. Because it is possible that the injections used in unconventional gas well operations could contaminate water supplies, the friction between state-level legislation and the EPA’s responsibilities regarding safe water needs resolving via clarification of the law.
International Comparisons
Certain countries outside the United States have enacted laws banning hydraulic fracturing outright. In 2011, the French government banned fracking; at the time of writing this ban remained in place and France had no plans to overturn the ban before it could be fully proven that shale-gas fracking would not harm the environment. Bulgaria banned hydraulic fracturing in 2012, and revoked the permit that had already been granted to the U.S.-based energy company Chevron. The multinational nature of energy companies and the energy market makes permitting and international operations more difficult when local or national laws relating to hydraulic fracturing operations are in a state of flux and development. South Africa has also banned fracking, while multiple countries have enacted moratoriums until more can be understood about the potential dangers and benefits of hydraulic fracturing operations.
Canada
Land use concerns come into play in relation to the licensing and exploitation of fracking sites in Canada. In Alberta, for example, the land-level growth – trees and undergrowth – must be cleared from the site before the oil sands can be mined. The return of trees and forest to the land after oil-sand extraction is a very long-term process, and there is justifiable concern that oil companies involved in exploiting tar-sand deposits will not follow through with the required land reclamation efforts after the tar-sand is extracted (Smandych and Kueneman, 2010).
Air pollution concerns are also related to hydraulic fracturing operations in Canada. A governmental environmental protection order was issued in 2007, after hydrogen sulfide levels at an active site were found to exceed Canadian official standards (Government of Alberta, 2007). Environmental concerns relating to water use involve the sheer volume of water used, and potential pollution to water after it has been used at the site. There is justified concern that aromatic compounds are being introduced into the Athabasca River in Alberta, with potentially carcinogenic effects on both aquatic life and humans who drink water from this source (Kelly, Short, Schindler, Hodson, Ma, Kwan and Fortin, 2009).

Discussion
It is clear that tension presently exists between federal and state legislation and regulation, and the ideologies behind both. At the time of writing, most regulation of hydraulic fracturing operations is left to the states in which operations are permitted. This allows state-level oversight of the industry to be flexible to the specific landscape, environment, economic needs and structure of the local region or the state. However, it creates a kind of patchwork of local laws that often contradict or sit awkwardly alongside federal legislation and local constitutions. Federal legislation would likely be more consistent, and constant, than ever-changing state and local laws that may be economically biased in favor of allowing maximal exploitation of unconventional gas wells. If a state’s environmental, emergency-response and fire-management authorities become accustomed to receiving monies sourced from fracturing operations, this gives an impetus for those agencies to continue supporting fracking in their region. When any agency involved in oversight of hydraulic fracturing operations has an inherent financial interest in the continuation of those operations, objectivity is threatened.

References
Hagstrom, Earl and Julia Adams. “Hydraulic Fracturing: Identifying and Managing the Risks.” Environmental Claims Journal 24.2 (2012): 93-115
Hall, Keith B. “Hydraulic Fracturing – a Primer.” The Enterprise 41.11 (2011)
Kelly, E., J. Short, D. Schindler, P. Hodson, M. Ma, A. Kwan and B. Fortin. “Oil Sands Development Contributes Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds to the Athabasca River and its Tributaries.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106(52), December 2009: 22346-22351.
Obama, Barack. (2012). EXECUTIVE ORDER: SUPPORTING SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF UNCONVENTIONAL DOMESTIC NATURAL GAS RESOURCES. April 12, 2013.
Sabino, M. A. (2012). Pennsylvania takes lead in taxing and regulating fracking.Natural Gas & Electricity, 28(9), 1-5.
Springer, L. (2011). Waterproofing the New Fracking Regulation: The Necessity of Defining Riparian Rights in Louisiana's Water Law. La. L. Rev., 72, 225.
Tiemann, M., & Vann, A. (2012, July). Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Virginia Environmental Law Journal (1999): “Did the 11th Circuit Crack “Frack”?”. VELJ 18(4).

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...What is Hydraulic Fracturing? Hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling for natural gas and oil underneath the ground. Hydraulic fracturing is a procedure that can increase the flow of oil or gas from a well (what is Fracking, 2013). Hydraulic Fracturing Process  It is done by pumping liquids down a well into subsurface rock units under pressures that are high enough to fracture the rock and release the gas. The goal is to create a network of interconnected fractures that will serve as pore spaces for the movement of oil and natural gas to the well bore (King, 2013).  Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, Europe and South America The first use of hydraulic fracturing to stimulate oil and natural gas wells in the United States was in the 1940s (King, 2013). This process used in nine out of 10 natural gas wells in the United States. In December 2012 the British government gave the approval for exploratory hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale-rock deposits (Reed, 2012). In 2011, a horizontal well with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing was completed in the Neuquén Basin of Argentina. It was the first horizontal gas shale well and the deepest shale gas well in South America (Halliburton, 2013). Economic Impact/Concern of Hydraulic Fracturing According to the Global Fund Exchange, there are a number of environmental concerns related to hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing......

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Name Tutor Course Date Title: Hydraulic Fracturing POPULATION/PROBLEM/PROCESS Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, as it is commonly referred to, is a method of oil and gas extraction that has been in use for well over 60 years. This is a method that is centered on injecting a mixture of a proppant such as sand, chemicals and water into an oil or gas well. The injection of this fluid is responsible for creating fractures in the pre-drilled well, thereby allowing greater permeability of the stone. The small cracks in the stone are filled by the proppant, in this case sand, to keep them open even after the water flows back out. Among the chemicals used are gelling agents. The purpose of these gelling agents is to ensure that the proppant remains suspended in the mixture, and does not sink. Other chemicals in the mixture increase the fracturing ability of the solution. Once this has been achieved, the small pores and air spaces between the rocks are filled with the proppant and cause the natural gas trapped within the natural spaces to escape. This gas is then collected. The use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing has also been instrumental in the extraction of oil. The use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing has increased profitability and efficiency in the extraction of oil, when compared to the predominantly used vertical drilling methods. By increasing the extraction of natural gas from sources that were originally considered unproductive, this process has resulted in more...

Words: 2107 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Land Use Control in Hydraulic Fracturing

...Land Use Control in Hydraulic Fracturing Prepared for Katherine Wears, Phd. Professor and Assistant Dean at Clarkson University Prepared by Martin Sable Student, Masters in Engineering Management at Clarkson University August 10, 2014 Executive Summary This paper will review the process of hydraulic fracturing, its effects on the environment, and the opposition against the practice. A chronological discussion of lobbying activities and regulatory actions will be discussed, with a particular focus on land use control. A discussion of some of the past and potential future litigation on land rights related to the subject will be covered. The paper will end with the author’s opinion on the subject and of the potential future of the industry. Background Hydraulic Fracturing is a method of simulating well production in both natural gas and oil wells. It was first introduced in 1947, and was adopted for commercial applications as early as 1949.15 The process involves drilling wells deep into ground rock formations, then injecting fluids at high pressure into the ground. The high pressure causes fracturing of the rocks that release gas or oil into the wells that may then be extracted. In 1968 high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) was introduced, in an effort to tap into the large shale basins containing deposits of natural gas. The main difference between this and conventional hydraulic fracturing is tremendous volume of fracturing fluids that are pumped...

Words: 3009 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...What is Hydraulic Fracturing? Hydraulic Fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid. It is used to extract valuable resources easier, that are buried deep in earth’s crust. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracing, fraccing, or fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gases including shale gas, tight gas, and coal seam gas, or other substances for extraction. This type of fracturing creates fractures from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations. In US, Hydraulic Fracturing is a common method. It is mainly used in the oil rich regions such as South and North East. However some of the drilling sites are on hold as there’s a research going on in order to understand the effects of Hydraulic Fracturing on drinking water reserves. In Europe, Bulgaria and France are the only countries that have big enough shale gas reserves to be investing on Hydraulic Fracturing and have the method banned. In Ireland there are strong protests going on to ban the method, but in UK and Poland Hydraulic Fracturing method is commonly used. South America, home for less developed countries in general, had it’s first shale gas well in 2011. So far it remains to be the only one. Economic Effects: Hydraulic fracturing is a common method of extracting resources from the ground right now. And in the future, it is expected that almost 70 percent of the natural gas extracting will be done......

Words: 438 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Introduction Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is a means of natural gas extraction employed in deep natural gas well drilling. The fracturing is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations. The rock layers are fractured when chemical-laced water and sand are blasted underground to break apart rock and release natural gas. The chemical based water is known as fracking fluid. The fracking fluid injected into the rock is typically a slurry of water, proppants, and chemical additives. Additionally, gels, foams, and compressed gases, including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and air can be injected. Various types of proppant include silica sand, resin-coated sand, and man-made ceramics. These vary depending on the type of permeability or grain strength needed. Sand containing naturally radioactive minerals is sometimes used so that the fracture trace along the wellbore can be measured. Chemical additives are applied to tailor the injected material to the specific geological situation, protect the well, and improve its operation, though the injected fluid is approximately 98-99.5% percent water. (Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer, 2009) For each frack, 1-8 million gallons of water and 80 – 300 tons of chemicals may be used to frack a well. A well may be fracked up to 18 times. (Fox, 2010) Figure 1: Hydraulic Fracturing (Albertan, 2011) History Hydraulic fracking of oil and gas wells was first used in the United States in......

Words: 1879 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Hydraulic Fracturing Hydraulic fracturing is a process of drilling and injecting fluids at a high pressure into the ground to break rocks and release methane gas and toxic chemicals and contaminate groundwater. “Hydraulic fracturing is used after the drilled hole is completed. Put simply, hydraulic fracturing is the use of fluid and material to create or restore small fractures in a formation in order to stimulate production from new and existing oil and gas wells. This creates paths that increase the rate at which fluids can be produced from the reservoir formations, in some cases by many hundreds of percent.” (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 2010) This process allows production in older oil and natural gas fields. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in the United States since the 1940’s. “The U.S. has vast reserves of natural gas that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies enabling greater access to gas in shale formations. Responsible development of America's shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental benefits.” (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2013) Fractures in Onshore shale and Tight Rock formations are oil fracking. It can be natural or man-made through rock. The fluid includes water, sand, ceramic and often chemicals. “High-pressure Fracking is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations to......

Words: 1295 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...| Hydraulic Fracturing Hydraulic fracturing is a completion process that has been proven. It allows producers to recover natural gas and oil safely. This process reduces our national carbon dioxide, reduces our reliance on foreign fuel imports, and accelerates our transition to a carbon light environment. The development of natural gas and oil is critical to America’s energy needs and economic renewal. The process of hydraulic fracturing is using water pressure under tight controls to create fractures in rock that allow oil and natural gas to escape and flow up out of the ground. While in this process “fracturing fluids” are mixed in using high pressure. This creates fissures that allow resources to move freely from rock pores where they are trapped. (Chesapeake Energy) First, the way hydraulic fracturing works is a production drill is drilled through the rock layers to intersect the coal seem that contains coal bed methane, CBN. Second, fractures are created or existing fractures are enlarged in the coal seem so that the CBM can be drawn from the well and pumped to the surface. These fractures are created or enlarged by using a thick water-based fluid which is gradually increased by rate and pressure. Third, over time the coal seam is unable to keep up with the fracturing fluid which results in high pressure causing the coal to fracture along the weaknesses within. Sand is pumped into these fractures to keep them ‘propped’ open after the pressures are released. After a...

Words: 1989 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Hydraulic Fracturing Course Project DeVry University LAWS-310-62220 Professor Stephens August 17, 2014 Abstract This paper will cover the legal and environmental issues raised by hydraulic fracturing. It will discuss state and federal regulations as well as proposed federal laws. This paper compares and contrasts stat law approaches, establishes and understanding for the place of hydraulic fracturing as it relates to the United States energy needs, and examines Frances laws and regulations on hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic Fracturing Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as fracking, is a controversial oil and gas extraction process introduced in the late 1940s, which stimulates the movement of oil and natural gas trapped between rocks deep underground (ConocoPhillips, 2013). A large number of water, sand, and chemicals are pumped into the ground to break the rocks and release gas (Publica, 2013). This method increases the output of oil and natural gas. “This process, along with new innovations in horizontal drilling, has opened up new natural gas development opportunities across the country, especially in the mid-Atlantic region” (Law, 2011). Hydraulic fracturing is currently underway in the United States in Ft. Worth, TX, Fayetteville, AR, and the Appalachians (USGS, 2014). Internationally, hydraulic fracturing is currently taking place in Russia; however fracking is forbidden in France (Chu, 20104). Venezuela holds the largest gas and oil reserve in South......

Words: 2291 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwer...

Words: 360 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing: Tight Oil Kevin Conibear 10060801 Geology 377: Petroleum Engineering Dr. Rob Taerum April 11, 2014 Introduction Tight oil has reversed a decline in Western Canadian and U.S oil production. In tandem with advancements in horizontal drilling, high volume hydraulic fracturing has enabled companies to tap into billions of barrels of tight oil that were previously thought to be inaccessible. Tight oil, trapped in microscopic pores within impermeable layers of shale, is an unconventional oil reservoir. Unconventional reservoirs cannot be extracted through a traditional ‘well and pump’ procedure. Conversely, conventional oil reservoirs can be extracted through this traditional process. Conventional reservoirs are layers of rock that allow oil to flow relatively easily through a series of pores in the rock, thus are high in porosity and permeability. However, there are a diminishing number of conventional reservoirs, leading to the increased demand for the production unconventional oil – tight oil. Hydraulic fracturing is a technique that creates cracks within shale formations, allowing tight oil to flow freely for efficient and profitable extraction. This process has only recently been utilized to its great potential, and has proven to have profound economic implications. What is shale? Shale is fine-grained sedimentary rock that is often rich in in petroleum and natural gas. Sedimentary rocks are formed through an accumulation of sediment...

Words: 1987 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Water Crisis 6 Chapter-3: The environmental effects of Hydraulic Fracturing 8 Air: 8 Water: 8 Deforestation: 9 Health: 9 Climate: 9 Faulty Wells: 9 Chapter-4: Hydraulic Fracturing: A Controversial Topic 10 Chapter-5: Conclusion and Recommendation 12 5.1 Water Scarcity Issues and Factors: 12 5.2 Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Scarcity: 14 Bibliography 15 Appendices 17 Appendix-1: Shale Gas Extraction 17 Appendix-2: Components of Fracturing Fluid 18 Appendix-3: Percentage of Global share by gas types 19 Appendix-4: Reducing Surface Footprint with Horizontal Drilling 20 Appendix-5: Satellite view of a Hydraulic Fracturing fluid storage 21 Appendix-6: Possible risks of Hydraulic Fracturing 22 Appendix-7: Global physical and economic water scarcity 23 Appendix-8: Survey conducted in Yangon, Myanmar 24   Chapter-1: Introduction Hydraulic fracturing is the process of obtaining natural gas by drilling into shale rock layers deep within the Earth. This process was made possible by advances in drilling technology in the past 100 years (www.energyfromshale.org/). Hydraulic fracturing of shale gas is also known as “fracking”. Hydraulic fracturing involves usage of vast amounts of a water mixture directed under high pressure at layers of shale to release the gas. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation states that approximately 2.4 to 7.8 million gallons of water are needed per fracturing process. The water mixture contains 90% water,......

Words: 3487 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...Hydraulic Fracturing Jasmyne Thomas Stratford University Abstract What is hydraulic fracturing? The process of creating fissures underground in order for natural gasses to be able to flow. Millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals are drilled and injected at high pressures in a shale formation creating the fractures need to release the natural gas from shale rock. The fracking fluid is then pushed and drilled down into the ground 10,000 ft. at high volumes of pressure then reaches the end of the well causing the shale rock to crack and the natural gas begins to flow into the well to the surface for use. This hydraulic fracturing idea is something that has been around for years. With much research the process has changed and become a new formation. Shale is a sedimentary rock that forms from silt and clay-size mineral like mud. The oil and natural gas migrated out of black shale rock upwards because of the low density that it has. Conventional reservoirs are deposits where the natural gas and oil flow through the pores of the rock in and up through the well. Marcellus Shale is 1 mile beneath our earths surface. It can be found in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Small amounts can be found in states nearby but Pennsylvania is the main supply for Ohio and New York. Thousands of wells are now being drilled in Pennsylvania a year and in the near future New York will follow suit but New York’s water supply isn't...

Words: 1370 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Fracking

...August 2, 2013 Fracking and the Effects on the Environment and Public Health People are now recognizing some serious concerns to the public health and the drinking water becoming contaminated, because the fracturing of shale in our communities and what can be done to stop it all. The hydraulic fracturing of shale needs to be, banned until further investigations are completed to determine how safe it is to people and the environment surrounding the drilling site. It all started with a few cases of illness, which everyone assumed was a virus that was going around. Over the past couple of years, these illnesses have become a very serious problem, not only to people but to animals and livestock too. This is a big concern and it is obvious that it is not a genetic disease as first thought. Far too many families, who are living near these drilling sites and have contracted the same illnesses in many different areas across the United States,. Is this a coincidence or facts of serious problems taking place in the United States from fracking? It is very important that everyone should be aware and to take notice how close to where they live and if any hydraulic fracturing is taking place because there is much more to this story than many people realize. The hydraulic fracturing of shale needs to be, banned everywhere until further testing can actually be done to determine how safe it is to people and the environment. The US is participating in this method called fracking to......

Words: 2164 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Hydraulic Fracturing

...BP Paper Rough Draft 11/23/2012 April 20, 2012 British Petroleums drilling vessel Deepwater Horizon suffered an explosion, and then began expelling enormous amounts of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Although many different individuals and organizations attempted to help BP fix their spewing well, it wasn’t until July 15 that the vent was cut off. Through our research we have developed an analysis that examines the cause of the cause of the disaster, the event itself and its aftermath. We would also like to offer our recommendations on the subject. British Petroleum is an international oil company base in London and is one the nations leading oil and gas producer (History of oil spill). In spite of BP’s market share, as a company they have an unfortunate history of safety breeches including a 2005 explosion at oil refinery in Texas (Deep Water dDrilling). These accidents seem to be a cause of weak corporate safety culture and cost leadership (On average, fifty percent of management bonuses were awarded on the basis of cost cutting). The lack of proper safety practice and absence of oversight has ultimately resulted in infrastructure and architectural failure (Deep Water Drilling). As with any disaster, each party involves attempts to prove their innocence and are all too quick to point a finger at a party that must be guiltier than they and the Deepwater Horizon spill is no different. Although BP owned the oil, other companies had considerable interaction with......

Words: 2238 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Paper

...Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a well stimulation process used to obtain natural resources from underground geological formations. Although used in several different applications, including the extraction of oil and geothermal energy, hydraulic fracturing in natural gas production from shale formations has recently taken center stage. It is estimated that shale gas will comprise over 20% of the total U.S. gas supply by 2020 (Energy Information Administration, 2009). As hydraulic fracturing has expanded, the public, media, and Congress have expressed rising concerns about the practice. Allegations of natural gas entering private water supplies, well explosions, and polluted streams have sparked controversy about fracking. In response, Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in fiscal year 2010 to study hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water. The goal of this study is to determine whether hydraulic fracturing endangers drinking water and, if so, how these risks can be mitigated. The results of the study, expected by the end of 2012, will help inform EPA‟s regulatory response to hydraulic fracturing. However, given the urgency of fracking concerns, some members of both the public and the government have called for EPA to regulate or halt hydraulic fracturing now. Thus, EPA must consider the policy options available to address these concerns. This report has multiple objectives: to provide background on hydraulic fracturing,...

Words: 2312 - Pages: 10