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Hydraulic Fracturing Debate

Which side are you on?

Written by Keith Kohl
Posted August 16, 2010

Take a seat, grab some popcorn and get ready for the action.

Also known as fracing, fracking, fracturing and frac'ing, the hydraulic fracturing process has been a bane to proofreaders across the U.S.

If you're unclear of the procedure itself, here's a video cheat-sheet for you:

This process is half of the reason why U.S. oil and gas companies can sleep well at night. The other, as you probably know, are the advancements made in horizontal drilling, which lets operators drill directly into the oil or gas-bearing formation.

Ever since the success from Barnett drillers in Fort Worth, Texas, companies have spread across different shale formations, including the Haynesville, Marcellus, and Eagle Ford, to name just a few.

However, the future of hydraulic fracturing has come under fire. Concern over water contamination, leaking unidentified chemicals into the groundwater, as well as methane leaks that have made ordinary faucets into explosive devices.

At the center of the issue is the Marcellus formation, which could possibly hold more than 363 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.

Here's the problem, at least as far as I can see...

The U.S., for good or for worse, is going to develop its shale gas resources. As you can see below, shale drilling activity is not only picking up, but it feels inevitable:

shale drilling 

This week, we'll look at individual shale plays, including a few that you've never heard of before.

Until next time,

Keith Kohl

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