It wasn’t that long ago that experts thought the United States’ oil and gas reserves were running out. Today, however, our recoverable reserves are the largest in the world.1 That’s due primarily to new drilling techniques like hydraulic fracturing. And in the spirit of ‘Helping You Deliver All Day, Every Day’, MSI Pipe Protection Technologies continues to share insightful industry information for our valued customers and clients. Read on to learn more.
How Hydraulic Fracturing Works
For years, experts have known that significant quantities of oil and gas were trapped in tight shale formations in hard-to-get locations. These reserves were essentially unrecoverable with then-existing technologies.
However, a new drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, is capable of releasing these trapped reserves. This approach starts by drilling a hole in a shale formation, often with horizontal drilling techniques. Operators pump water at high pressures through the drilling pipe into the hole, which creates fractures in the rock. Then they force a mixture of fine-meshed sand and chemical additives into the fractures, releasing the oil or gas long held within the rock.
Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing
While more expensive than traditional drilling, hydraulic fracturing has numerous economic and environmental benefits.
Because hydraulic fracturing created an increased abundance of natural gas, we’ve experienced a 47% drop in gas prices. From a high of $16 per thousand cubic feet in 2005, prices dropped to less than $4 per thousand cubic feet in 2013.
On a personal level, that means that households that use natural gas saw their energy bills drop by more than $200 per year from 2007 to 2013. Since natural gas is a cleaner form of energy than coal or other fossil fuels, its use contributes to lower carbon emissions which are good for the environment.
Improving the Hydraulic Fracturing Process
The hydraulic fracturing process has gone through major improvements over the past several years. The process is now cleaner and safer for the environment than ever before.
· Reducing Water Usage
Traditional hydraulic fracturing used large amounts of water, the waste of which could contain pollutants from the process. Newer methods recycle the water used or replace water completely with a gelled liquid. The result is less water used and less water wasted.
· Producing Cleaner Waste Water
Companies are also employing advanced water treatment processes for the water they use. The result is a cleaner liquid waste and less impact on the environment.
· Reducing Methane Emissions
The hydraulic fracturing process can sometimes result in the unwanted release of methane gas. By utilizing advanced sealing and filtering mechanisms, unwanted emissions are kept to a minimum.
Hydraulic Fracturing – Reducing the Environmental Impact
The oil and gas industries are continually working to make hydraulic fracturing cleaner and safer for the environment. Combined with the obvious economic impact of the technology, hydraulic fracturing is leading the country to a brighter, cleaner future.
Here at MSI, our product experts are available to discuss your thread protection products needs for hydraulic fracturing equipment. We also provide important information about our other high-quality products. At the same time, MSI can also recommend products based on your specific type of operation. Connect with us toll-free at 1-877-276-9208, or request a quote online.