There have been a lot of debates going on whether fracking is good or bad. However, it is widely evident that fracking has a lot of benefits, and any debate to ban it should take a hard look at the consequences on US energy production if the practice is withdrawn.
So what does fracking mean? Fracking is the practice of hydraulic drilling to crack open underground oil and gas formations. With the increased technology, the practice has saved the American energy exploration and production from the brink of decline. Today, the practice is responsible for hundreds of thriving oil and natural gas production channels.
Fracking involves drilling underground a few miles through the shale and rock formation then moving horizontally for a thousand feet or more. With fracking, one drilling site can have many wells. The wells are worked structurally and cemented before perforations are made to conduct a mixture of sand, water and other additives at high pressure to create fractures in the parent rocks. Water acts as the transporting agent with significant mechanical impact as sand. The additives reduce friction and prevent pipe corrosion hence boosting efficiency in the system.
Fracking has enabled the country exploit and tap a lot of oil and natural gas, which was previously impossible. In the next ten years, the country will have drilled more than 95% of the wells. The technique has changed the energy position in the country from scarcity to abundance. Fracturing is also used to accelerate the production rate from older wells.
With the increased rate of production featuring low-cost fracking techniques, there is a significant decrease in prices of natural gas and oil in the United States. Manufacturing plants can now carry out their operations without huge overhead costs, which has trickled down to cheap commodities in the American market. Thousands of people are now working in the oil fields and inflation is benign because of a healthy energy production system in the country.
The technique has reduced the amount of coal used in energy production hence cutting the rate of pollution and greenhouse emissions in the country. Because of fracking, the country now deserves the bragging rights as the world’s leading natural gas producer. The United States Energy Information Administration estimated that the country’s energy production will increase by 56% over the next three decades with fracking.
The bottom line is that fracking is an integral part of US energy production. It’s like the engine in the country’s energy revolution.