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Nature_and_Environment.109

Gasland

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{Nature_and_Environment.109.12}: Colleen Nelson {cole2u} Tue, 07 Jun 2011 19:17:19 CDT (80 lines)
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"http://gaslandthemovie.com/"

Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs

How does hydraulic fracturing work?

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a means of natural gas extraction
employed in deep natural gas well drilling. Once a well is drilled,
millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary chemicals are
injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the
shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more
freely out of the well.

What is horizontal hydraulic fracturing?

Horizontal hydrofracking is a means of tapping shale deposits
containing natural gas that were previously inaccessible by
conventional drilling. Vertical hydrofracking is used to extend the
life of an existing well once its productivity starts to run out, sort
of a last resort. Horizontal fracking differs in that it uses a
mixture of 596 chemicals, many of them proprietary, and millions of
gallons of water per frack. This water then becomes contaminated and
must be cleaned and disposed of.

What is the Halliburton Loophole?

In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling
from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing
the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the
provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job.
It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by Congress to
ensure clean drinking water free from both natural and man-made
contaminates.

What is the FRAC Act?

The FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness to Chemical Act)
is a House bill intended to repeal the Halliburton Loophole and to
require the natural gas industry to disclose the chemicals they use.

How deep do natural gas wells go?

The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep. The depth of drinking water
aquifers is about 1,000 feet. The problems typically stem from poor
cement well casings that leak natural gas as well as fracking fluid
into water wells.

How much water is used during the fracking process?

Generally 1-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. A
well may be fracked up to 18 times.

What fluids are used in the fracking process?

For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the
natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but
scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as
benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

In what form does the natural gas come out of the well?

The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from
the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically
recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.

What is done with the wastewater?

Evaporators evaporate off VOCs and condensate tanks steam off VOCs, 24
hours a day, seven days a week. The wastewater is then trucked to
water treatment facilities.

What is a well's potential to cause air pollution?

As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust
from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is
produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles.

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