Prodigy Oil and Gas
July 30, 2013
Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for years says Shawn Bartholomae, CEO of Prodigy Oil and Gas. Hydraulic fracturing is the breaking up of rock by a pressurized liquid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veins or dikes are examples. Induced hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique in which typically water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (typically less than 1mm), along which fluids such as gas, petroleum and brine water may migrate to the well. The radial distance the process influence from the well is typically 150 yards. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminum oxide) hold these fractures open. The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, coal-seam gas and hard rock wells. This well stimulation is typically conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhanced fluid removal and well productivity.
Prodigy Oil and Gas wasn’t around when experiments using hydraulic fracturing were begun in 1947, and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949. But as of 2010, it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured. As of 2012, 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been performed on oil and gas wells worldwide, more than one million of them in the United States.
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from the vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract. Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, depletion of fresh water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flow-back, and the health effects of these. For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under international scrutiny, with some countries suspending or banning it. However, some of those countries, including most notably the United Kingdom, have recently lifted their bans, choosing to focus on regulations instead of outright prohibition.
Mr. Bartholomae agrees, for all of the scrutiny given to the hazards of fracking, most reports fall under political influence. The actual health dangers of fracking have many times been found to be miniscule or non-existent.