Apply Filter. Why have some estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil or gas changed so much from previous estimates? Where in the United States is hydraulic fracturing being used for oil and gas extraction?
Hydraulic fracturing is used in many established oil and gas producing regions of the country as well as some areas new to the petroleum industry. Maps of major shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil basins are available from the U. Energy Information Administration, although not all of the shale basins shown currently have production. When did hydraulic fracturing become such a popular approach to oil and gas production?
Hydraulic fracturing in vertical wells has been used for over fifty years to improve the flow of oil and gas from conventional reservoirs. However, the current practice of horizontal drilling coupled with multiple applications of hydraulic fracturing in a single well was pioneered in the late s and has continued to evolve. Since the final What is hydraulic fracturing? This process is intended to create new fractures in the rock as well as increase the size, extent, and connectivity of What is in the fluid injected into the ground during hydraulic fracturing?
In general, hydraulic fracturing fluid is composed of water, proppant typically sand , and chemicals. A public website known as FracFocus has been established by industry that lists specific materials used in many, but not all, hydraulically fractured wells.
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- What environmental issues are associated with hydraulic fracturing?;
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Individual companies select a few chemicals to be used from hundreds that are available What is the USGS role related to hydraulic fracturing? The USGS is a science research agency with no regulatory, land management, or enforcement powers.
This includes: research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of unconventional oil and gas resources whose production could involve hydraulic fracturing. Resource assessments estimate the quantity of oil and gas that is yet to be How much water does the typical hydraulically fractured well require? In addition, some water is recycled from fluids produced by the well, so the net consumption might be smaller What environmental issues are associated with hydraulic fracturing?
Environmental issues that are specifically related to hydraulic fracturing include: water availability spills of chemicals at the surface impacts of sand mining for use in the hydraulic How is hydraulic fracturing related to earthquakes and tremors? Reports of hydraulic fracturing causing felt earthquakes are extremely rare. Wastewater disposal wells operate for longer durations and inject much more fluid than the hydraulic fracturing operations How does hydraulic fracturing differ from traditional petroleum development methods?
In a conventional oil or gas field, where the oil or gas is in relatively porous and permeable rock i. Nonetheless, a variety of techniques are often used to improve the flow of oil or gas, including hydraulic fracturing. Rock formations How does hydraulic fracturing affect the surface or landscape of an area? An area undergoing production of oil or gas using hydraulic fracturing technology shares many features with areas where conventional oil or gas is being developed, including: Roads Pipelines Compressor stations Processing facilities. Features that are unique to areas in which hydraulic fracturing is used include: Fewer but larger drilling pads, Can hydraulic fracturing impact the quality of groundwater or surface water?
Properly constructed wells prevent drilling fluids, hydraulic fracturing fluids, deep saline formation waters, or oil and gas from entering aquifers. Carefully constructed and operated well sites have the ability to contain potential Filter Total Items: 6. Year Published: Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development As the demand for energy increases in the United States, so does the demand for water used to produce many forms of that energy.
Valder, Joshua F. View Citation. We pay particular attention to shale gas as this type of development has transformed natural gas production in the US and is set to become important in the rest of the world. A variety of potential emission sources can be spread over tens of thousands of acres of a production area and this complicates assessment of local and regional air quality impacts. We outline upstream activities including drilling, completion and production.
After contrasting the context for development activities in the US and Europe we explore the use of inventories for determining air emissions. While emission inventories are beneficial to quantifying air emissions from a particular source category, they do have limitations when determining air quality impacts from a large area. Air monitoring is essential, not only to validate inventories, but also to measure impacts.
We describe the use of measurements, including ground-based mobile monitoring, network stations, airborne, and satellite platforms for measuring air quality impacts. These pollutants can contribute to air quality concerns and they may be regulated in ambient air, due to human health or climate forcing concerns. Close to well pads, emissions are concentrated and exposure to a wide range of pollutants is possible. Public health protection is improved when emissions are controlled and facilities are located away from where people live.
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Water Use for Shale-Gas Production in Texas, U.S. | Environmental Science & Technology
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Second, air quality dynamics around fracking operations are not fully understood, and cumulative health impacts of fracking for nearby residents and workers remain largely unknown.
Some of the available research evidence from places such as Utah and Colorado suggests there may be under-appreciated problems with air quality, particularly relating to ozone. Further, natural gas is not a purely clean and renewable source of energy, and so its benefits are only relative. It is not the answer to truly cleaning up our air, and in fact could give pause to a much-needed and well thought-out transition to wind, solar, geothermal, and other sources that produce fewer or no harmful airborne fine particulates.
That is a gigantic benefit.
Further, some research that claims methane is so harmful uses a year time horizon; but over a year time horizon — the way we generally measure global warming potential — methane is not nearly so harmful as claimed. The number-one priority must be to reduce the reliance on coal, the biggest threat to the atmosphere right now. Fears about emissions leaks are overblown. Even if the true leakage rate were slightly more than EPA and some states estimate, it is not that dramatic.
The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing
We are developing technology to reduce these leaks and further narrow the gap. Moreover, research-based modeling suggests that even if energy consumption increases overall, the United States still will reap greenhouse benefits as a result of fracking. And at other points in the life cycle, namely transmission and distribution, there are further ample leaks. Finally, there is no question that the embrace of cheap natural gas will undercut incentives to invest in solar, wind, and other renewables. PRO FRACKING: It is highly unlikely that well-run drilling operations, which involve extracting oil and gas from thousands of feet down in the ground, are creating cracks that allow chemicals to reach relatively shallow aquifers and surface water supplies.
Drinking water and oil and gas deposits are at very different levels in the ground. To the extent that there are problems, we must make sure companies pay more attention to the surface operations and the top to 1, feet of piping. We are learning and getting better. So this is a technical, well-integrity issue, not a deal-breaker. As for the flammable water, it is a fact that flammable water was a reality years ago in some of these areas. In terms of disclosure, many of the chemicals are listed on data sheets available to first-responders: The information is disclosed to relevant authorities.
There have been numerous reports by citizens across the country of fouled tap water; it is a fact that some of the tap water has even turned bubbly and flammable, as a result of increased methane. Well blowouts have happened, and they are a complete hazard to the environment. The companies involved cannot be trusted, and roughly one in five chemicals involved in the fracking process are still classified as trade secrets. Even well-meaning disclosure efforts such as FracFocus. And we know that there are many who cut corners out in the field, no matter the federal or state regulations we try to impose.