The oil and gas industry has been steadily expanding for decades, thanks in part to development of technologies in the processes of production, transportation and delivery of goods. One of the most talked about relatively new techniques of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. This production process combines chemicals (often dangerous) with lots of water and sand at high pressure to create rocks; these structures are used for the destruction of the material surrounding the oil and gas that allows them to be fetched. Fracking is controversial because C) the amount of natural resources needed to execute the process; and – perhaps more significantly – b) the negative effects it could have on air, water and soil worked.
Fracking and air quality
One of the main chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing is methane, and it is estimated that 4% goes into the atmosphere during extraction. Because methane is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat, the emission of this gas affect the quality of air around areas of the reservoir. In addition, ancillary components of fracking will directly increase air pollution in wells. They include harmful substances emitted from new construction and subsequent operation of the distillation field, the increase in emissions from oil and gas transportation, and emissions from the disposal and storage of waste. The increase of pollutants in the production and long-lingering smog, which reduces the availability of clean air for the workers and local residents.
The impact of hydraulic fracturing on water supply and quality
Millions of gallons of water used in the process of hydraulic fracturing, which directly reduces the amount of clean water available for the surrounding residents. When water is unavailable for fracking sites locally, it can be transported from other regions, ultimately, the use of water from lakes and rivers across the country. Water pollution can also reduce total regional water distillation areas as chemicals that are used in the process tend to leak back into the local water.
Wast water is also a problem in areas of hydraulic fracturing. Between 20% and 40% of water used for hydraulic fracturing that returns to the surface of the earth consists of toxic impurities. The presence of the wastewater has harmful effects on the environment, as it cannot be easily cleaned and returned in working condition – for purposes other than fracking, that is.
Other Environmental Issues
In addition to the pollution of air and water, fracking also increases the potential for the elimination of oil spills, which can harm the soil and surrounding vegetation. Fracking can cause earthquakes due to the high pressure used to extract oil and gas from rocks and storage of excess wastewater at the facility.
Although hydraulic fracturing has the potential to provide more oil and gas resources for consumers the process of extracting long-term negative impact on the environment. Air pollution and water pollution because of toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing the biggest problems in areas of the reservoir, while the need for disposal of sewage, and the depletion of water resources current issues directly related to the procedure.