Hyrdro Fracking in Marcella Shale
Submitted By rorydubieniec
Hydrofracking in Marcellus shale: The Consequences of America’s Gas Rush
Demand for fossil fuels in America has led to a flurry of unorthodox methods for the extraction of natural gas. Fracking or hydrofracking in the U.S.A has proven to be an efficient way of extracting natural gas from permeable rock. A new large scale hydrofracking operation has been proposed in the eastern states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. This method of extraction is highly controversial, and is thought to have severe environmental and potential health consequences. This essay will provide further insight into the practice of Fracking in an area of shale known as Marcellus shale, and help to expose the environmental and human implications.
What is Hydrofracking?
Hydraulic Fracturing is an un-conventional process used in the extraction of gas in permeable rock (David 1973). A horizontal well is drilled into permeable rock such as shale and is injected with millions of gallons a high pressure fluid known as frac-fluid, this fluid is a mixture of sand, water, and an array of lubricating chemicals (Deutch 2011). The high pressure frac-fluid forces open fishers (cracks) within the rock which are kept open with sand granules; this allows pockets of gas to flow more easily from the shale (David 1973). Once the well is depleted all fluid that can be recycled is extracted, and the well is capped to stop any unused gas escaping (David 1973). The process of fracking is expensive and requires a lot of resources including millions of gallons of water that is sourced from local reservoirs and aquifers (David 2008). There are also substantial costs in the transportation of equipment and frac-fluid (Deutch2011). Despite these expenses demand for natural gas is great enough that there is still a large profit to be made.
The Marcellus shale
There are numerous Devonian shale’s in the...