How Fracking Works Non-renewable natural resources such as oil and natural gas must be drilled in order to be extracted and used as energy. Fracking, or drilling for oil and natural gas, is one way to get these resources out of the ground and into holding wells, where they can later be converted into fuel. The process involves extracting the sources from pores in underground rocks that hold the oil or gas and forcing it out into a holding tank for use. Fracking can have a negative impact on the environment, which is why engineers use steel plates and mats on many drill sites to lower this risk. Fracking differs from ordinary drilling in an underground pool of oil in that it must first force the oil out of rocks before it can be extracted. What is Fracking? Fracking is the process of drilling for oil and natural gas by way of forcing the materials out of porous underground rocks. Deep under the ground, usually about 7,000 feet below the surface, some porous rocks such as shale hold onto reserves of oil and natural gas. Engineers designed a way to get these sources out of the rocks by first drilling into the area, then creating trails of manmade veins for the substances to travel through once they are extracted from the rocks. How Oil is Obtained The primary force behind fracking involves pushing water through the rocks and forcing the material out of them. In order to do this, large drills burrow deep into the Earthâ€™s surface until they hit about 7,000 feet. Once they hit this point, the drill moves either left or right and continues horizontally for another 6,000 feet. The entire L-shaped hole is surrounded by a steel plate called the welbore. This plate is designed to keep particles from leaking into groundwater supplies while engineers drill. Once the hole is made, engineers punch holes in the steel in certain spots that small particles can get through. They pump a water-chemical solution through these small puncture holes at a high pressure, which forces the rock to crack from the liquid being forced into it. A mixture of sand and other additives keeps these cracks open for years. Once the rock cracks, engineers can bring back up the mixture of water, chemicals, oil and natural gas and later separate them for use. Precautions Taken
One of the primary precautions engineers must take for fracking is to ensure that unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals do not leak from the fracking site. The welbore is designed to keep chemicals away from underground water sources, but the process has a risk of leaking chemicals into areas outside of the intended site. These precautions are important to ensure that drinking water is not contaminated. In addition, the water waste that is the result of fracking must be treated and recycled before it can be disposed of responsibly. Drilling equipment can also be harmful for the physical environment on the surface, which is why many companies use industrial matting to eliminate this impact as much as possible. For more information visit http://www.industrialmatting.com
Published on Oct 24, 2013
Fracking is the process of drilling a hole into the ground to extract oil and natural gas from porous rocks under the surface by forcing wat...