When it comes to evaluating the risks and rewards of fracking, it's essential to stick to the facts. Adam Ferrari comments on a recent article discussing how, through proper research and evaluation of risks, fracking presents itself as a viable means of energy production in a safe manner.
Fracking is largely misunderstood and overcomplicated by society and the media. However, fracking can be easily explained and shouldn't trigger emotions of anxiety. Put simply, fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is the process of injecting high-pressure liquid into the earth to open existing fissures to extract oil and natural gas.
The term "fracking" has taken on negative connotations. However, this negativity is mostly misguided. "Chemicals used in houses and apartments for everyday cleaning activities are more dangerous and toxic than chemicals used in fracking," stated Adam Ferrari in a recent article dispelling some of the myths about fracking.
The process of hydraulic fracturing has been around for over 100 years. Geologists discovered that rocks were porous deep within the earth (up to 30,000 ft) and that natural gas could be pulled from those porous spaces safely. Almost all rocks have pores. For example, with close inspection of a granite countertop, one notices that even kitchen counters have pores that could be widened with the application of high-pressure liquid.
Fracking pumps this high-pressure water carrying beach sand into rocks deep beneath the earth, creating microscopic cracks that fill with the sand. Once the pumping stops, the forces of the earth naturally close the cracks with the sand and keep them open ever-so-slightly to allow the fluid contents of the rock to flow through a ~5-inch hole that has been drilled.
Typically, fracking water has guar, a plant that thickens the liquid, similar to the process of making ketchup. It also has biocides to kill bugs, soap to keep the fluid slippery and reduce friction, and various other components depending on the specific type of rock being fracked. This water is used to carry the sand into the proper pores, not damage the rock itself. Without this sand, rocks might undergo a process called clay swelling, which could lead to negative oil and gas recovery rates.
One of the leading concerns about fracking is groundwater protection. However, freshwater close to the surface is protected by thousands of feet of rock, still pipe, and cement. It is very unlikely for this water to be contaminated, and if it is, the water can still be purified. Freshwater is never destroyed during fracking, and numerous precautions are taken so that freshwater is not disturbed in the first place.
Another common objection to fracking is that it causes earthquakes. It's important to remember that while minor earthquakes might take place, they are of very low magnitude and can't produce damage to existing structures.
Fracking lights up cities, powers cars to stay on the road, and puts food on the table for thousands of hard-working men and women and their families across the United States.
About Adam Ferrari
Adam Ferrari is the founder of the Denver-based mineral acquisitions company Ferrari Energy. He is a chemical engineer by degree and is an accomplished petroleum engineer by profession. He also has experience in the financial sector through his work at an investment banking firm. Under his leadership, his company has supported numerous charitable organizations, including St. Jude Children's Hospital, Freedom Service Dogs, Denver Rescue Mission, Coats for Colorado, and Next Steps of Chicago.