Clean and green natural gas fracking is not a contradition - it is a reality. An innovative process eliminates the water pollution frequently associated with the original hydraulic fracturing method.
Natural gas and oil fracking are under a great deal of scrutiny for environmental reasons. Proponents favor the method for natural gas in shale deposits because it is an abundant, domestic source of energy. Opponents point to the toxic chemicals used and a history of aquifer contamination. An alternative fracking fluid could be the answer to all the environmental concerns, thus opening the door to widespread drilling and lower energy prices.
When natural gas is discovered in deeply buried layers of shale, the most common method of extraction is fracking. This term is shorthand for horizontal hydraulic fracturing. The widespread deposits of natural gas bearing shale in the US is driving a vigorous debate over the need for energy and jobs versus the environmental damage caused by fracking.
Horizontal Drilling For Gas Fracking
To frack a deep, gas-bearing, shale deposit, most drilling companies pump a slurry of water and sand into the borehole. The slurry is pumped in under great pressure until the rocks crack or frack. Then the water is pumped back out, leaving the sand behind. The sand helps prop open the cracks, allowing more natural gas to flow out of the rock deposit.
Other chemicals are added to the water as lubricants and for other, technical reasons. Environmentalists object to fracking mostly because of the secret mix of toxic chemicals and the high risk that these chemicals will leave the natural gas deposit, thus contaminating water tables.
The company GasFrac Energy Services has perfected another way. They use no fresh water or chemical additives. Instead, they pump the borehole full of liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG. The fluid still carries sand or ceramic particles to prop open the fractures, but contains no other chemicals.
LPG natural gas fracking has numerous advantages over water-based natural gas fracking. When the water is pumped into the borehole, often up to 50 percent remains in the deposit and it impedes the extraction of natural gas. When LPG is used, almost 100 percent of the LPG is recovered and the borehole is free of barriers. Natural gas flow rates from LPG fracking are considerably higher than water-fracked wells.
In the case of an oil-bearing deposit, the LPG fracking fluid helps dissolve and thin the oil, thus making it easier to pump out. Finally, the materials cost of natural gas fracking under LPG is considerably lower. Since no fresh water is used, no domestic source is required and there is no water treatment needed for the recovered fracking fluid.
LPG natural gas fracking jobs are the same as water-based natural gas fracking. Communities dealing with a natural gas drilling proposal should ask the company representatives up to LPG natural gas fracking. This new method is by far the cleanest and greenest way to increase natural gas drilling. There is no reason not to use LPG natural gas fracking for any borehole that must be fracked. Now we can have clean water, abundant natural gas and plenty of oil and natural gas jobs all over the US.
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