Hydrofracking and Shale Drilling – What is Shale Fracking?

energy-rich geophysical exploration technique

Hydrofracking, or hydraulic fracture, drilling, or hydraulic stimulation, is an energy-rich geophysical exploration technique using a high-pressure fluid to fracture the rocks in the earth. It involves injecting high volumes of water, generally at a depth of around one meter or more, into fractures to open the fissures between the rocks. As a result, unconfined zones of rock fractures are opened, exposing rich resources of oil and natural gas.

The most common natural gas deposits and oil wells are located in regions with basins and cavities deep enough to absorb and release hydrofracking fluids easily. Hydrofracking is believed to increase the probability of hydrostatic earthquakes, particularly those that follow after major quakes. For this reason, geologists and engineers design hydrofracking wells and injection sites carefully to avoid these kinds of seismic events. In addition, hydrofracking is said to reduce the likelihood of natural gas spillage or leakage from wells into drinking water, because it prevents water contamination.

Hydraulic fracture drilling involves the injection of liquid hydrocarbon into the earth

Inducing movement beneath the surface through fractures and movements in the rock. The hydrofracking fluid may contain either natural gas or natural oil, but is usually produced from a combination of these two sources. As the Hydrofracking fluid travels deeper into the shale, it expands and spreads through the porous surface, which causes stresses in the rock and often causes cracks. These cracks propagate into large-sized voids, creating enormous stress in the shale and forcing it to produce gas, if the crack is large enough. This process can cause significant quantities of gas to be released into the atmosphere, so is considered to be a significant source of greenhouse gases.

Hydrofracking is done using various methods. The most commonly used method by far is what is called a hydraulic ram process, which involves truck-mounted, high pressure equipment driving into the well to crack the rock formations. The trucks are equipped with special chemical suits that protect them from the corrosive properties of the hydrofracked liquids, as well as an interior nozzle system to shoot the chemicals into the fractures as they are pumped in. Many times, operators must also wear protective gear to avoid exposure to the highly flammable nature of the hydrofracked fluids.

Extensive scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of hydrofracking

There have been concerns about the contamination of drinking water supplies and the contamination of the soil beneath the fractured areas, but there have been no reported cases of such contamination in the United States or in Europe. Extensive scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of hydrofracking on the environment, both above and below the ground. These studies have found very little evidence of any significant contamination of either the drinking water or the soil. This is because the contamination of drinking water comes from naturally occurring chemicals and is filtered by the body’s digestion systems, while the contamination of soil comes from naturally occurring elements like pesticides that can be washed into the groundwater. There are, however, many more stringent requirements for the containment of contaminated soil below the surface.

Hydrofracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals into the shale deposits in an effort to open them up and create fissures in the porous rock. In the process, these substances are able to push outward and cause the natural gas and liquid to escape into the air. This is not only done to increase the overall gas quantity available to be harvested, but it also allows for better access to the natural gas that exists within the shale layer. This results in an increase in the price of natural gas, but allows operators of horizontal well drilling to extract much more natural gas from their wells.

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