Categorized | Energy Solutions

Three Common Questions about Hydraulic Fracturing

Posted on 21 November 2011

What is hydraulic fracturing?

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, is the process that is used to extract natural gas from shale rock. This gas is trapped underneath layers and layers of rock. A large drill must be inserted into the rock to get to the trapped gas. Then high-pressured water and chemicals are pushed into the space where the gas is causing it to rise. After the gas is captured the chemicals are then removed and taken to a disposal plant.

What chemicals are used in fracking?

Benzene, metaldyne, boric acid, ethanol and methanol are just a few of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. While these chemicals can be harmful to the environment and people, the system that has been put in place by regulators makes the fracking process safe. Many people are worried about the possibility of the chemical leaking into their water supply, however, the regulations that have been put in place are there to protect the surrounding water supply and keep people safe.

What is fracking for natural gas?

By using the hydraulic fracturing system described above, natural gas is extracted from shale rock. It is estimated that around 84 trillion cubic feet of gas is undiscovered in the U.S. alone. This amount could potentially make the U.S. independent from foreign energy.

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