Resources tagged: fracking

Why do people oppose fracking?


Local/regional pollution Fracking involves the use of water, sand, salt, citric acid, benzene or lead, According to a US federal report about 750 chemicals have been used in the process, 29 of which are either likely or known carcinogens. Most fracking water returns to the surface and if not re-injected underground it must be carried away for treatment; it can be hazardous if not properly isolated and stored. While it is underground there are fears that it could also contaminate the water table. Seismic activity The injection of wastewater from the fracking process into the ground has caused earthquakes in a number of US states including Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas and

Fracking and flaring


The tremendous growth of unconventional oil production in North Dakota has led to a rapid rise in the production of associated natural gas. However, state authorities report that a large percentage of this gas does not ultimately go to market. Nearly 30% of North Dakota gas is currently being burned off, or flared, each month as a byproduct of oil production. The full collection and marketing of North Dakota natural gas faces two primary challenges. Firstly, natural gas has a much lower value than oil (the ratio in 2013 is reported as 30:1). This acts as a deterrent for developers to invest in natural gas. Secondly, natural gas requires its



As concerns grow that conventional oil and gas reserves cannot keep up with the world’s growing energy needs, ‘fracking’ promises to deliver an oil and gas bonanza. What is it? Hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ involves drilling into dense shales which are ‘fracture stimulated’ by pumping a mixture of water, sand, ceramic beads and chemicals at high pressure. This fracture stimulation forces open fissures in the rock and allows trapped oil and gas to flow up the well to the surface where they can be recovered. Where is it happening? The fracking boom is most advanced in the USA although it has been carried out for decades in Canada and there

Flaring and venting

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What is it? Where there’s oil, there’s gas, usually in large quantities. This associated gas (AG) is released when oil reservoirs are drilled and throughout oil extraction. Flaring is the controlled burning of AG; venting is the controlled release of unburned gases directly to the atmosphere. Why Does Flaring and Venting Happen? Most AG is re-injected back into the well; this can help to force out more oil. Having the facility to flare and vent AG is important in keeping wells safe during shut downs and emergencies. The decision to vent or flare will depend on local conditions and the nature of the gas. Flaring reduces methane emissions but venting