What the Frac is Fracking?

Audio, Canada, Commentary, Energy, Frontier Centre

Environmentalists frequently raise alarms about fracking, and Canadians should be given more information about the process.

There are naturally-occurring fractures, but often rock formations are too impermeable to allow oil and gas to be extracted.

A fracking fluid is pumped into the formation, causing cracks to form.

The resulting fractures allow oil and gas to flow into the well.

Some people are worried that frac fluids could contaminate groundwater.

The danger is avoided when drill wells are properly cased as they penetrate aquifers to reach the rocks below.

The fractures are deeper than the aquifers, and the thick mass of rock in between prevents undesirable fluids from seeping into the water. 

Over millions of years, some gas can naturally seep through rock mass to reach water, but fracking has nothing to do with it.

Some people are worried that fracking causes earthquakes. 

Earth tremors do occur in drilling operations, but most often they are too small to be felt.
Precision instruments are used to monitor any tremors.

Fracking has been around for decades, and in recent years it has greatly increased the supply of natural gas, and lowered the price for all of us.

The technology is allowing North America to be more self-sufficient in energy, and it’s creating export opportunities for Canada.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

For more on energy policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.