Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as fracking, is not a novel concept. The hope of being able to access fossil fuels trapped inside layers of shale deep beneath the Earth’s surface was achieved by the process of fracking, developed in 1903 (energyindepth.com). Over the last century, hydraulic fracturing has become an efficient and environmentally friendly way to access the natural gas needed to meet the United States’ high demands. With the condition of the environment rapidly deteriorating, the process of hydraulic fracturing is being questioned. Fracking has made the natural gas trapped within the shale deposits below the earth’s surface accessible with new techniques, all while generating jobs, stimulation the economy, and safely creating an environmentally friendly source of energy.
The hydraulic fracturing process has evolved and improved since its creation over 100 years ago. In fact, engineers and geologists spent more than 40 years perfecting the process, and the payoff has been well worth the effort (energyindepth.com). In addition, efficiency has increased with the discovery of a process known as horizontal drilling (Kaufman and Sidick). Reporters Scott Detrow and Susan Phillips explain how hor¬i¬zon¬tal drilling allows one sur¬face well to access gas trapped in hun¬dreds of acres of shale.
“Once the vertical drill hits the shale for¬ma¬tion, it turns hor¬i¬zon¬tally in sev¬eral direc¬tions. The well is then cased with steel and cement. Explo¬sives are then placed at inter¬vals along the hor¬i¬zon¬tal sec¬tion of the well. Under very high pres¬sure, fracking fluid is sent deep into the earth to cre¬ate cracks and fis¬sures in the shale rock. The fis¬sures are then held open by the sand in the fracking fluid, allow¬ing the nat¬ural gas to flow through those cracks into the well at the surface”
Fracking has been tremendously improved since discovery and is only impeded by the money it requires to be executed.
In addition to being an environmentally friendly method of natural gas extraction, fracking also created new jobs and generates substantial revenue that is crucial to the growth of the United States’ economy. Today Americans are suffering from an unemployment rate which has risen to an astounding 9.1% rate. The Marcellus Company created over 29,000 jobs in 2008; and the Barnette Company created over 327,000 jobs in Texas alone (Kaufman and Sidick). The natural gas harvested from fracking are also translates into extreme profits. Barnette Shale’s drilling companies generated over $32.56 billion in revenue and the Marcellus Shale’s drilling companies already generated $2.3 billion in revenue from the small fraction of the shale they have drilled so far (Kaufman and Sidick). Hydraulic fracturing provides economic benefits that are necessary for America’s struggling economy in an environmentally friendly way.
Despite popular belief, fracking is not devastating to the environment; in fact, it is a safe way to access...