Prince Amir Al Saud

Hydraulic Fracturing: Boon or Curse - Expert Views

Hydraulic Fracturing: Boon or Curse - Expert Views



Hydraulic fracturing or FRACKING is described as the process of cracking a rock using pressurized liquid. Induced fracturing entails the combinations of H2O with certain chemicals and sand.

The mixture is infused or injected at relatively high pressure into a hole drilled for exploration or drawing out of natural resources. It is meant to create tiny ruptures measured at less than one millimeter.

This is where fluids like petroleum, gas, salt water, and uranium solutions can transfer to the well. The process is common in wells, rocks of dark sediments, gas, and coal layers. Said stimulation is said to enhance liquid removal and well productivity. It has been observed that there has been an upward trend with regard to multiple hydraulic fracturing as production wanes.

Hydraulic fracturing also refers to related processes involved in extraction of natural gas from irregular rock formation. The main advantage of this technique is that it facilitates production of oil and natural gas in locations where traditional technologies are not capable of working.

Some experts claim that FRACKING has led to the discovery of enormous oil supply and natural gas coming from concentrated deposits of shale (compressed mud or clay). This is very beneficial because it increases energy security, boosts the capability to produce electricity, heat up homes, and provide power to motor vehicles for a sustained period.

Benefits of Hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing can also improve economies. It generates royalty payments for property owners and provides tax revenues for governments. Over and above these benefits, it creates high-paying jobs in the following industries:

• Engineering

• Surveying

• Construction

• Hospitality (hotels and restaurants)

• Equipment manufacturing

• Environment

Despite the multiple benefits, hydraulic fracturing has been a very debatable issue recently as environmental groups and health advocates questioned the effects on wellbeing and safety.

Downfall of fracturing

Public health supporters, scientists and environmental campaigners are not really convinced that the advantages can outweigh the potential hazards. Some sectors are worried that the insufficiency of proven research about chemicals used in this technique. There are also questionable areas in regulations in this industry.

There are policies which exempt FRACKING practices. One example is the Clean Water Act. It rules out permits mandatory for storm water release from construction projects which involve the use of gas and oil.

The Safe Drinking Water Act controls the injection of materials into the ground but does not include those associated with hydraulic fracturing provided diesel fuel is not utilized. Even industry practitioners admit the lack of regulatory controls.

Public health industry officials are worried about the untried long-term consequences on residents with houses near the hydraulic fracturing sites because of the possible adverse effects of chemicals on the environment and the creation of air pollution and water contamination.

The general public has not been informed properly about the advantages and disadvantages of this approach. The result is that there are overstated concerns regarding the effects of hydraulic fracturing. The primary question is what will be the cause of FRACKING in the long term?

Is it a boon or a bane for the people?  

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