The purpose of this paper is to weigh the economic benefits against the environmental costs associated with hydraulic fracturing and determine which has the greatest worth and whether or not hydraulic fracturing should be used as a method for extracting natural gas. The use of hydraulic fracturing has become a more prevalent process used by energy companies, and as its scope increases, it is important to understand the effects of the process, both good and bad, on the world. According to Chevron, hydraulic fracturing methods are being used in the United States, Canada, Poland, Romania, Argentina and China highlighting the global relevance of hydraulic fracturing (Natural Gas from Shale).
Oil and natural gas are formed in geologic time as organic matter is transformed by heat and pressure and over time, oil and gas may move into other formations where they are trapped (Fitzgerald 1338). These rock formations, where oil and gas are trapped, include shale, relatively impermeable sandstones, and coal beds (Fitzgerald 1338). Depletion, higher prices, and technological advances in exploration and production have made the unconventional resources in source rocks more easily accessible (Fitzgerald 1338). “The process of hydraulic fracturing involves the injection of a mixture of water, […] sand, and chemicals into an oil or gas well” in order to create fractures in shale rock (Hassett 11). Sand is used in order to keep fractures open to allow the flow of natural gas out of the well to be collected and transported (Hassett 12).
Economic Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing
In Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale Deposit has provided the area with “new jobs, booked hotel rooms, busy food franchises and newly pave...
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