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Essay on Filling the Void: Hydraulic Fracturing

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Hydraulic fracturing, also commonly referred to as fracking, is a type of drilling for natural gas and oil that started in the 1940’s. In the beginning, when a well was slowing down, dynamite or TNT were placed inside the well head and detonated to help the flow of gas and oil by expanding natural cracks and veins in the earth. This method of fracking was used extensively for almost fifty years in the United States until the easy to mine and profitable oil had been almost completely tapped. A new form of hydraulic fracking was created in the early 90’s to help capture the less available oil and gas pockets remaining in the United States. The current method of fracking begins by drilling a vertical shaft lined with several piping layers and an outer layer of cement up to 10,000 feet deep. After achieving the appropriate vertical length a horizontal shaft is cut off of the vertical shaft that can stretch to lengths up to one mile long. A mixture of sand, water, and chemicals are injected in the shaft fracturing the shale formations and release pockets of oil and natural gas. The water is brought back to the surface where the gas and oil is separated out. The issue many people have with fracking is the possible side effects of chemicals used and water contamination. With the use of fracking helping American’s reach energy independence, economic benefits, and a bridge to help attain a clean energy source; fracking should be expanded in the United States.
The immediate impact of hydraulic fracking is the economic gain from drilling. With so much money involved in gas oil all Americans see a gain. Starting with the land owners to the proprietor of a local restaurant and even households far away from drilling sites everyone ei...


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...ne gas fracturing, also known as gas fracking, have taken the majority of the dangers out of traditional fracking. Gas fracking is achieved by creating a gel made of propane mixed with the traditional fracturing chemicals that is injected into the well; afterwards, the gel turns into a vapor due to heat and pressure bringing only natural gas for collection (Nearing). Leaving water out of the drilling process keeps radioactive material, salt, and drilling chemicals from surfacing and possibly polluting water tables and surface soil. Using gas fracking also has the added benefit of using only twenty-five percent the amount of truck trips cutting down further emissions and oil usage. The issue with methane leakage is easily contained with proper concrete and steel piping to trap latent leaks and should never happen if wells are correctly constructed and serviced.



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