Hydraulic fracturing is a method of extracting gas and oil from the ground using high-pressure fluids. Hydro-fracturing is not a new practice and is widely used in the United States. There is a lot of interest in this technology at both public and private levels. Below, Ferrari Energy, a family-owned private oil and gas company focused on mineral and leasehold acquisitions, will explain some of the science and technology behind fracking and how fracking works in the economy.
What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
Hydraulic fracturing, sometimes referred to as “fracking,” is the activity of extracting oil and natural gas from the earth through the use of high-pressure liquids. Water filled with beach sand is pumped at high pressures through drilled wellbores to make the reservoir more porous and amenable to mineral resource extraction. Fracking liquids contain various substances meant to minimize clay damage in the reservoir, but at the end of the day, the practice is akin to blasting rocks deep in the Earth’s crust with beach sand.
The point of fracking is to shore up the rocks so that natural gas and oil can be extracted more easily. Fracking is a highly cost-effective practice that has resulted in lower energy costs, greater energy security, and lower carbon emissions than alternative methods of natural resource extraction.
One of the biggest debates surrounding fracking is whether it pollutes groundwater reserves. While it is true that water resources have been polluted around certain fracking sites, this contamination was due to improper handling of materials and not the fracking process itself. When done correctly and in line with industry-standard techniques, there is no evidence that fracking contaminates local water reserves. Additionally, virtually any industry, be it agriculture, farming, fishing, or mining, can contaminate water supplies if performed incorrectly. It is not an issue unique to fracking.
Another claim is that fracking causes seismic activity. It is true that fracking can cause seismic activity but on scales much, much smaller than you might assume. Fracking creates seismic activity that is very low on the Richter scale (of a magnitude less than 1) and, while it can be measured with specialized equipment, cannot be felt by people on the earth’s surface. So, fracking can technically induce microearthquakes, but ones so small they do not disrupt anything, and nobody can actually feel them.
There is also great debate over whether fracking is good or bad concerning greenhouse gas production. First, it should be noted that fracking is performed to extract natural gas, which produces up to 40%-50% less carbon than coal when used. Second, fracking produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other forms of resource and mineral extraction. Methane leaks from fracking sites are a legitimate concern, but fracking techniques are highly advanced, so large-scale, serious methane leaks are very unlikely to happen. While fracking produces greenhouse gases, the exact science on whether these emissions are harmful is still unclear.
Like any process, fracking has its pros and cons. We must remain objective when discussing and considering the future potential of this highly efficient energy technology.
About Ferrari Energy
Ferrari Energy is a family-owned private oil and gas company focused on mineral and leasehold acquisitions. With a focus on educating landowners, Ferrari Energy has consistently served the needs of the landowner community in the basins in which it works. Its operation covers several areas throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and ND. Ferrari Energy has provided oil and gas leases to over 850 homeowners and held multiple lease signing events to accommodate the residents of Broomfield, Colorado.
Ferrari Energy took its name from its founder, Adam Ferrari. Adam is a native of Chicago and was formally educated in chemical and biomolecular engineering. He completed his degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and finished at the top of his class, graduating magna cum laude. As a young professional, Adam worked in the operations and business sides of the energy industry. After gaining ten years of direct industry experience, he took his passion for the energy industry and launched Ferrari Energy.