The Bias Over Hydraulic Fracturing And My Views On It

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used after the drilling process is completed for production enhancement. It involves making cracks in revisor by injection highly pressurized fluid at very high rate. The fluid solution 98% of is water and sand and the other 2 percent is acid, anti-bacterial agent, breaker, clay stabilizer, corrosion inhibitor, crosslinker, friction reducer, gelling agent, iron control, non-emulsifier and pH adjusting agent. These fluids are solution of polymers, which are used to thicken the carries fluid, often water for purpose if increasing its viscosity and allowing it to carry particles, called proppant. These created fractures are held open with clean uniform natural sand or synthetic materials. This allow to access the natural resources trapped between the rocks.

The most important parts of this process are hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The key characteristic distinguishing shale gas from conventional gas is that it does not naturally flow into a well. however, by fracturing the formation containing the gas, artificially increasing its permeability. This is accomplished by “hydraulic fracturing” To access large shales or large amounts of gas, multi-stage fracking is typically utilized, where drillers not only use vertical wells but also horizontal ones, and they repeat the fracking process at each well as many as 20 times, with each pressurization fracturing a new region of the shale gas formation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shale gas will account for almost 50 percent of national domestic gas production by 2030.

The Advantage of availability to shale gas is its affordability, it tends to range from $2 to $3 per thousand cubic feet of gas, about 50–66 percent cheaper than production from new conventional gas wells, and technological learning could drive costs down further. The United States is already producing such a large amount of shale gas that natural gas prices have plummeted from $13 per million BTUs to $1 to $2 in 2012. This cheap gas has translated into cheap electricity with American factories paying half the going rate for electricity. without shale gas development, anticipated natural gas prices could be more than 2.5 times higher.

There are many benefits of shale gas, but they come with a thought-provoking array of costs that include a technological sophistication that makes drilling and fracking prone to accidents; the degradation of air, water, and land; enhanced risk of earthquakes and seismic events. There are so many accidents that happens all the time when things go wrong in fracking. There have been reported instincts of gas mixing in people water wells, people can’t use the water anymore around the area of drilling. It has affected animals and the human’s health around these areas. The potential contamination for ground water during the fracturing process are enough for them to consider of risk of harming the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when hydraulically fractured wells are located near domestic water resources, there is a greater potential for activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle to impact those resources.

This topic is bias toward the benefits of hydraulic fracturing. The cost reduction and companies paying people million of dollars for using their land. In theory the process is safe there is no harm to the environment or the drinking water. The companies are showing technology how they protect the drinking water. All those things are great but there is high risk factor the companies are not looking into and mentioning it.

This technology is great from my point of view. We can access natural resources more efficient then we have been. They can go horizonal drilling for miles long this prevent the cost and time to setting up many vertical drills. This helps us access the shale gas which we are not able to access with out hydraulic fracturing process. Which helps bring the cost down for natural gas. The downside is we are wasting so much water and the water is mixed with toxics and requires special handling. And a lot of stays underground which could potentially harm the ground drinking water.

I believe this technology does follow virtues ethics. The intended design is not to harm any humans or the environment. The process for set up before the hydraulic fracturing is make a seal between the drinking water and the gas pipe so the drinking water is not affected. The drilling is almost 2 miles down past the drinking water where the fracturing is happening. I believe is not the technology that in question of ethics. In my personal opinion I believe these companies are always trying to cut cost and save money and sometime take short cut and the process is not being followed exactly like it should that when the accident happens and it causes harm to the environment and the humans. There so many reporting of companies being fine for not following the rules and regulations. In my opinion the fines are small price to pay for them that’s why they take the risk. These are billion dollars companies they don’t have a problem paying the fine. The animals dying and water wells got contaminated with gas. The company not acknowledging the issue and taking responsibility right away. The people had to file a lawsuit. It just shows that they don’t care about the people wellbeing.

My final recommendation regarding this technology is good that there so many benefits but we need to be aware of the harm that this technology is causing on humans need to look for solution to prevent that in the future. We need to look in to water contaminating issue for the future and look for solution of how to recover most of the water and find way how can that water be reusable. May be even look for solutions that does not required as much water as we are using now. Cut down the usage of water and the bring down the toxic in water that is being used for fracturing. This technology has a lot of potential but still requires a lot more research to be done so its does not harm environment and the life around it.


  • Speight, James G. 'Hydraulic Fracturing.' Rules of Thumb for Petroleum Engineers. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2017. 427-28. Web.
  • Sovacool, Benjamin K. 'Cornucopia or Curse? Reviewing the Costs and Benefits of Shale Gas Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking).' Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 37 (2014): 249. Web.
  • CBS. “Shale Gas Drilling Pros & Cons.” YouTube, By CBS, Nov 14,2010,
  • Water footprint calculator. (10/12/2018). “HYDRAULIC FRACTURING AND ITS IMPACT ON WATER RESOURCES.”
  • Jasechko, Scott, and Debra Perrone. 'Hydraulic Fracturing near Domestic Groundwater Wells.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114.50 (2017): 13138-13143. Web.
16 December 2021
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