Why should you care about Fracking?

Question for comment

1) For your community in central Massachusetts which would you rather they invest in solar, wind or natural gas resources and why?

2) Which states account for most of the natural gas production ? (Resource link)

As fossil fuel prices rise our search for new means of extracting usable fossil fuels has expanded.  One of the new methods that has become usable is releasing natural gas-methane from shales that contain considerable amounts of trapped gas.  Shales are rocks that are made of mud, and the gases have been trapped in the rocks since formation many millions of years ago.  To release the gases we drill into the rock layer, and then frack it, hydraulically fractured.   The diagrams below indicate the number of locations in the US where this resource is or could be tapped.  The method is described in the next two diagrams.  The key is to release the methane gas by fracturing the shale rock to allow the gas to be released from the rock.  The fracturing is done with highly pressurized fluids.

 

shale

This natural gas that can only be extracted with fracking is of considerable value. In 2000, approximately 26,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 3.6 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d) of marketed gas in the United States, making up less than 7% of the national total. By 2015, the number of hydraulically fractured wells had grown to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 53 Bcf/d, making up about 67% of the total natural gas output of the United States. EIA estimates that natural gas production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about two-thirds of total U.S. marketed gas production.

Here, resource for natural gas weekly updates.

frack prices

To date three problems have emerged as a result of  the 2005 ruling that fracking was exempted from regulation by the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974) leaving it up to the states to monitor and regulate a rapidly increasing number of fracked wells.

1) Contamination of surface water from fracking fluids and erosion from the drilling preparation and pipeline laying process. Radioactivity associated with drilling. Fish kill from drilling.

2) Depletion of water resources for the drilling process in Texas during a drought.

3) Release of natural gas that propagates up through the rock contaminating water wells in Pennsylvania. Also see Duke University study

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3 thoughts on “Why should you care about Fracking?

  1. Fracking is very important for the peoples survival because it extracts lots of important minerals and stuff we need not only as every day humans but for curs of diseases as well as medicines. Some people might think this is wrong because there messing with the nature of the rock and minerals that they extract the oils out of but if it helps the people to keep someone alive or maybe even one day a way to stop cancer then it would be worth to keep fracking in my opinion.

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  2. 1. If I had to choose which to invest in I would choose solar. My reasoning behind this is because it is the most long lasting, efficient and at the same time least harmful to the environment. The solar panels are more compatible for consumers as well as larger scale projects. A household cannot have a wind turbine but they can have solar panels. I also think solar is a better investment because the panels store energy for an extended amount of time and will always be charging as long as the sun is out, which happens everyday. It will be a long time before we run out of sun! As far as natural gas is concerned I think that we should leave the fossils alone. Some of these rocks are millions of years old and the gas they hold may work as an energy source but will not last forever. We are using natural fuels faster than we can find them, and in more quantities than the earth provides. One day we will run out and if we keep using all the historic and natural sources what will be left for the generations to come? I think fracking is important because knowing how to utilize out resources is necessary to survive and the innovative way of gaining a new energy source is impressive; however I think there are less drastic alternatives that allow us to save the environment while also gaining energy.

    2. There are five states that make up for about 65% of the U.S natural gas production. They are Texas (26%), Pennsylvania (18%), Oklahoma (9%), Wyoming (6%) and Louisiana (6%).

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  3. 1) For your community in central Massachusetts which would you rather they invest in solar, wind or natural gas resources and why?
    – I don’t live in Central Massachusetts but when I live at Nichols during the school year I would say I’d rather invest in solar resources. The reason for it is no matter what we do we’ll always have the sun wind and natural gas resources aren’t always so reliable. Also I have already noticed the last time I was in the Dudley area was the local high school is using solar power which means the town is investing in solar energy.
    2) Which states account for most of the natural gas production ? (Resource link)
    – The states that account for most of the natural gas production in the United States is Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Louisiana.

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