The Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing and the Potential for Solutions Mark Hatcher
ITT Technical Institute
Full of beauty and bounty, for all who seek it, the dream of that new discovery or the find of a lifetime, awaits us whose desire is to have the plan that will fulfill a destiny, if we only work together and are determined to rise above the challenges to meet the aspiration. Those who believe and are willing to reach beyond normal capacity are most of the time able to accomplish the needs of the many, which in turn help further the cause for our existence and the anticipation of things to come. In doing so, many resources have been revealed fitting and useful over the course of time to assist us in our daily needs and social settings, allowing us the ability to sustain ourselves throughout history. However, as those resources grow smaller and our economy demands grow greater, we recognize the need to expand the search for other means of reconciliation to survive. In today’s economic struggle and political upheavals, we are ever so more seeking out new ways to take care of our own and retrieve new ways of self-dependence upon resources known to exist; only the means to extract are at hand.
As most of us know, one of our most precious and well utilized resources to date is oil, black gold, which found far beneath the earth’s layers, in turn sent the Beverly Hillbillies to stardom. The need for oil and the byproducts that come from it are in great need and the costs are rising daily. Our requirement to ascertain this product has caused some concern and revealed the necessity to seek out new ways of locating this liquid assurance, for meeting our future demands. Although, there may be many ways of retrieving this from beneath the many depths of the earth, there has only been one way, truly effective for reaching areas untouched by normal means, which has become the center cause of debate in recent years. I will, through the use of various reports and studies bring forth analysis and discovery that highlights the use of hydraulic fracturing and the effects that seem to shadow over this seemingly burdened tactic of extraction.
Before immersing ourselves in the myriad of reports, studies, and personal accounts concerning the results of this approach, we should understand what hydraulic fracturing is and the process it takes. Understanding the process, through which this approach is considered, we will be able to seize what the issues are and the potential for ushering in an agreement to a solution. We must first recognize what shale is and what it offers. Is this the answer to our economic future and interdependence on oil?
Shale is a very compacted rock with fine sediment that is found to be with a large amount of minerals and other resources. “Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich resources of petroleum and natural gas. Sedimentary rocks are rocks formed by the accumulation of sediments at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Common sedimentary rocks include sandstone, limestone, and shale” (ShaleTech Shale Training and Education Center, 1995). We know that there are many resources we can extract from this area and the plays will require a unique technique to draw the required material out. Plays are noted to be spread out, throughout the United States and furthermore, the other side of the great pond is known to have several locations found to be worthy of the dig. “Shale gas maps show "plays" are found throughout the Mountain West, the South and throughout the Northeast's Appalachian Basin. The Barnett shale play in Texas, for example, is 5,000 square miles and provides 6 percent of U.S. natural gas. The Marcellus shale play that stretches across Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia covers ten times the square miles of the Barnett, but has only recently started to be developed” (EnergyFromShale, 2012)....