People’s Ignorance towards Fracking
New Zealanders are all about the land. After all, is it not the thing that we are known for? New Zealand: clean, green and beautiful. So it is right to object when another country comes in and wants to exploit our oil via means of fracking, isn’t it? How much do people really know about fracking? How much do you know about fracking? The truth is, not much. Adjudicator, members of the audience, facking is apparently becoming a big problem in New Zealand. Major oil companies like TAG Oil and Apache are interested in the promise of oil and the opportunities that are foreseeable. As oil is becoming more scarce and more of a necessity, companies are finding new ways to access oil that was previously inaccessible. This has led to fracking. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of pumping water and chemicals down into the wells at extremely high pressure, to break up shale rock which contains oil. The main problems people see with this are health problems, earthquakes and environmental problems.
People’s primary source of concern is health. This is obviously understandable. Chemicals scare people, especially the amount involved in fracking. However, the chemicals involved in fracking are no stronger than your average household bleach. Most of the chemicals used are used every day in normal processes. The substances that are put down a well are bentonite clay, which is used in wine making, xanthan gum polymer, which is used in salad dressing, water, calcium chloride brine, which is electrolytes, lime, fatty acids, which are plant fats and barite, which is used in medical imaging. Most of these completely harmless and are used normally everyday. As an extra safeguard, the well is entirely cased in concrete. At the surface, there are six layers of casing. These six layers go down to around 400 meters deep. This is below the lowest water table recorded in New Zealand. Between 400 meters and 2000 meters there are four...
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