Fracking : An Unconventional Method Of Extracting Natural Gas Reserves

703 Words Dec 18th, 2015 3 Pages
5.2 Background
DECC (2015) delineates hydraulic fracking as an unconventional method of extracting natural gas reserves situated in shale rock. Fracking for shale gas occurs in fractured rock sediments when pressurized liquid (water and additives) and sand are ingested at high pressure through wells to crack shale rocks sediments (Evensen, Jacquet, Clarke & Stedman, 2014). The most commonly extracted shale gas is methane gas even though other secondary gases may also be present (American Petroleum Institute [API], 2009).
The flow of water and additives in and out of the wells occurs in a continuous cycle throughout the lifespan of the well (EPA 2011), with the flow back fluid consisting of a mixture of methane, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxides, wastewater and low levels of naturally occurring radioactive constituents (Brown, 2014; Public Health England [PHE], 2013). Langrish, and Mills (2014) reports that fracking in the United Kingdom is at its preliminary stage even though oil and gas fracking has been in existence for over half a century. Currently, there are over 2 million hydraulic fracking wells worldwide with close to a million of then in the United State of American (King, 2012).
Even though the United Kingdom has large reserves of unconventional natural gas resources, the country‚Äôs total number of fracking wells as at the year 2012 was only a single exploratory well (King, 2012). Full operations on this well was subsequently halted in 2015 due to the occurrence of two…

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