Fracking, what is it really? Does it harm the environment?

por | Dic 23, 2022 | Información

I’m sure you’ve heard about Fracking lately, but do you know what it really is?
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a very controversial oil and gas extraction technique, some say it sounds like a great opportunity to supply our growing energy demand while others say it is a technique with disastrous environmental consequences.


What is Fracking, is it bad for the environment?

Much of the energy we consume comes from burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. The problem with these energy sources is that in addition to being highly polluting they are also limited and therefore we are getting closer and closer to their depletion. In territories such as the United States or Europe, the conventional national reserves of these substances are almost non-existent. Exploitation over the years has led to the depletion of almost all of them, but frafklin, which has been known since 1940, is a technique for extracting the oil or natural gas that is trapped in the subsoil rocks. Previously there was no interest in extracting this gas because it was very expensive, but thanks to the rise in the price of oil, Fracking is now economically feasible.

But how does Fracking work?

Fracking consists of drilling into the ground in a vertirah hole more than 300 meters deep and then drilling horizontally to reach a layer of rock that has gas or oil trapped in it. Afterwards, a mixture of water, sand and about 750 chemicals is pumped through the pipe under pressure. The water fractures the rock into small cracks, the sand prevents the cracks from closing and the chemicals among other things dissolve the materials so that the gas is released, once finished with this a large part of the mixture that now contains gas is absorbed again and extracted from it to be able to refine it. When the gas has been extracted, the mixture of water, sand and chemicals is blown back into the earth and the extraction hole is sealed, this is where one of the main environmental problems lies.
Some of the chemicals contained in the mixture are pollutants and even carcinogenic and with the passage of time and the movement of the subsoil these substances could seep into aquifers that humans or other animal species use for consumption. another danger is the release into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases including methane, one of the most dangerous. On top of that, Fracking wells are energy inefficient and deplete very quickly, so more and more wells have to be drilled.
Other studies also suggest that Fracking could be behind small earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 4 on the Richter scale.


With all these disadvantages, why is Fracking still being practiced?

Because in the short term it is still a cheap source of energy and there are many interests to exploit it and not depend so much on oil and gas producing countries. the long term consequences of this practice are still unknown but could be very harmful to the environment. and is that humans are still blinded by fossil fuels and until we change the chat and we all work towards renewable energy we will continue to destroy our increasingly fragile planet earth.


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Author: Hyperion

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