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Fracking and the American Comeback

By Dunn, J. R.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003548817
Format Type: PDF eBook :
File Size:
Reproduction Date: 2014

Title: Fracking and the American Comeback  
Author: Dunn, J. R.
Language: English
Subject: Nonfiction, History, Essay
Collection: Science Fiction Collection
Subcollection: Baen Library Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Baen Publishing Enterprises

Description: America has now developed fracking - extraction of oil for means of making money and oil prices here cheaper. This article explains the history of fracking and the strategy developed so it benefits our economy.

Summary: Fracking was first developed in the late 1940s. For decades, it was considered an esoteric technique too expensive for widespread use. There were plenty of accessible oil pockets available to be drilled—who needed fracking? But as oil prices broke the $100 a barrel milestone late in the last decade, fracking (admit it—you keep thinking of Battlestar Galactica) began looking more attractive.

Excerpt: Hydraulic fracturing is accomplished by pumping fluids at extremely high pressure into shale beds. Fracturing fluids consisting of 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand, and a pinch of various chemicals are mixed in a blender on site before being injected at pressures of over 9,000 pounds per square inch into a shale formation. The water breaks up the shale, the sand holds the fractures open, and added chemicals aid extraction. Guar, an organic gum, assists water in penetrating the shale. Dilute hydrochloric acid then clears away the guar and prevents bacteria growth. Diesel oil helps stimulate flow. The amount of water used in the process is prodigious—up to seven million gallons for a single well. The bulk of the fluid is extracted after the well is finished and is often recycled for further drilling.

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