Fracking- Is it affecting the environment?

Image of earth layers with extracting of natural gas

Energy is the source of all the things happening in the Universe. Everything on Earth needs energy in some form for it to work and function. The energy is supplied through various sources like solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, biomass energy, etc. The world has reached a situation where no work can be done without energy. Imagine if there was no electricity, or no fuels, etc. life would have come to a standstill, isn’t it?

There are so many sources found to meet the needs of the people. One of the most common sources of energy is the natural gas. Natural gas is obtained through bio gas, shale gas, etc. but there is one more source found in recent times which is being used widely to obtain natural gas easily. This process of extraction of natural gas is called Fracking.
Infographic of extracting natural gas from earth
Fracking refers to the process of extracting natural gas from the earth. This process of extraction is being used since last sixty five years. The process of fracking involves injection of a fluid deep under the earth by drilling. This is done under a very high pressure.

Fracking, also referred to as hydro fracturing or hydro fracking is becoming a famous process for the extraction process. It involves various processes for the extraction. At first, a hole is made in the rock. Firstly, a vertical hole is made and then it is turned to make a horizontal hole. This drilling process is done for miles under the rock.

The rocks underneath, have very small gaps between them; as small as 1mm. These small gaps have molecules of gases stored in them. Fracking is used to release the captured gas molecules. Once the cementing and casing of the drill is done, water along with sand, additives and other propellants are passed through these pipes. This is done under a very high pressure.

The sand and other additives play a key role in the process of fracking. The gaps between the rocks are very small. These gaps are made big with the help of the sand and other additives. Sand helps in opening up the micro fractures. Additives reduce the friction, increases the pressure thereby avoiding corrosion and efficient emission of gases. The toxic fracking fluid with fracking chemicals creates fractures in the rock. The sedimentary rocks liberate a lot of gases and oil due to pressurised fluid. The oil and gases which comes out of the pipes and holes are collected in wellbores.

Fracking is an important source of revenue for natural gas companies and for water transportation companies. But there are certain reasons for which fracking is not preferred and is considered as a danger to the environment. The residents near the fracking zones are also badly affected by this. Fracking uses a lot of water which results in overuse of water supply. The harmful chemicals used will contaminate the groundwater making it and the surrounding areas polluted.

However, there are controversies that fracking is not harmful and is very helpful for the economy. Companies like NatGasCo have tried the best possible ways to reduce the effect of fracking on the environment. But there is no technology developed which proves fracking to be completely safe. Some countries have partially or completely banned fracking but it is still practised on a large scale. In a nutshell, fracking is a very effective way to solve the problem of energy crisis but it should not be practised on a large scale by polluting the environment and at the risk of our survival!

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