I will start this blog post with a personal comment on the subject. “Fracking” or hydraulic fracturing is a means by which a petroleum or gas well driller can maximize what they are trying to extract from the earth. It is a highly controversial subject and I do not exert an opinion on the subject but I will say that I am from South Texas were this is a common practice and anything that occurs in the place where I grew up, has my attention.
If you are not familiar with well “fracking”, it’s a practice where gas or petroleum wells are suspected of having greater reserves and the surrounding rock is hydraulically pressurized and fractured (fracked) to give that gas or oil the ability to flow more readily.
A very simple example of this would be to take a sponge saturated with water and let it sit. Just to let it sit would mean that some of the water would take a very long time to drain, but to apply pressure, you could squeeze the water out. Fracking is just a slight bit different as it’s intent isn’t to squeeze out the product but to create more “cracks” in the surrounding strata so that the product more readily flows out.
The controversy comes in several forms with the first being that some worry it’s causing geological damage and in some cases, is responsible for tectonic shifts or earthquakes. Another concern is that it could fracture enough rock at different levels, that it could allow gas or petroleum to “leak” into more shallow depths and contaminate water tables.
I’ll let you, the reader of this blog, make your own decision about this, but I would highly advise anyone to do so, as it will continue to be a point of controversy and specifically with our on-going drought and how it could effect the quality of at-depth water supplies when surface supplies run dry.
Here is a link to Wikipedia. It is a widely recognized source of information, although user-submitted, but can be a good way to start a search for information to help you form your opinion on this subject.
FYI… A recent blog post here on an earthquake South of San Antonio, spurred some reader comments on whether it was caused by “Fracking”. Again, I don’t want to start a firestorm of comments, but I do believe educating yourself on any subject of controversy is your best, first effort.