Anorak | Amazingly, fracking is less polltuing than normal drilling for gas

Amazingly, fracking is less polltuing than normal drilling for gas

by | 22nd, March 2013


University Fracking Research

WELL, along one dimension it is, fracking producing much less waste water (and polluted waste water) than normal drilling for gas does. It isn’t quite how we normally think of it of course, but it does seem to be true :

There is a perception that the hydraulic fracturing of rock to discharge natural gas produces inordinate volumes of wastewater. After all, millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals are pumped at high pressure into the ground and a considerable portion of this fluid rushes back to the surface when the pressure is released.

OK, so that bit’s true, that lots of waste water is generated by fracking for shale gas.

Our results surprised us: On average, shale gas wells generated about 10 times more wastewater but also produced about 30 times more natural gas. This means conventional wells generate about three times more wastewater than hydraulically fractured wells to produce the same amount of natural gas.

So, we get more gas for whatever amount of water that needs to be cleaned up of its pollution. And actually, it gets even better than this. The water that flows out of conventional wells is water that has been down there a long time. Where it has been steeping in all those lovely minerals.

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Posted: 22nd, March 2013 | In: Money, News Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink