Fracking, more properly called hydraulic fracturing, has revolutionized the production of crude oil and natural gas within the United States over the past couple of decades. While the technology has been around since the 1940s, it is only in the past few years that hydraulic fracturing has been applied to underground formations long since deemed unprofitable using more common extraction methods. Innovations in fracking methods has reduced its environmental impact and made it a valuable industry in many regions of the company.
What is fracking useful for?
Fracking is useful for making it possible to remove oil and natural gas from certain geological formations where traditional drilling and pumping operations do not work or are not affordable. Once the well is drilled, the drilling crew injects a high-pressure fluid into the well to create cracks in the rock formations. This process allows the oil and natural gas to flow easier.
What kind of innovations has the industry seen in the past few years?
Water-based liquids have replaced oil-based ones in the fracking process.
In the early days of fracking, the preferred liquid for the operation was a combination of gelled gas (or a similar petroleum-based product) and sand. After the hydraulic fracturing operation, the liquid would come back to the surface as a mud. Before disposal, the drilling operation would have to bioremediate the mud to remove the hydrocarbons. This method of removal was expensive and brought up concerns for the environment.
Today, the petroleum-based liquids have been replaced with water-based liquids. Water is combined with sand and certain chemicals, which help expand the rock formations and keep them open long term. The water comes back up in a mud slurry that, with a bit of treatment, can be disposed of onsite.
Recycled and reclaimed water has become the primary source of fracking liquid.
A single fracking operation can take up to 2 million gallons of water. This water usage has raised concerns in drought stricken areas where water is becoming scarce. Drilling operations are looking for innovative alternatives to using fresh water for hydraulic fracturing operations.
To keep fresh water use to a minimum, many fracking operations use reclaimed water instead. Reclaimed water is water used in a hydraulic fracturing operation that has been cleaned and stored for use. This recycling helps limit the amount of fresh water needed for the fracking operation and also cuts down on costs for the drilling company.
Using natural gas instead of diesel fuel for fracking operations.
Many fracking operations use diesel pumps to inject and extract the hydraulic fracturing liquids into the wells. To reduce the diesel emissions involved with fracking operations, many companies are starting to convert their equipment from diesel to natural gas.
Natural gas produces far fewer emissions than diesel. Natural gas is also lower in cost, which helps make the hydraulic fracturing operations more profitable.
Fracking is definitely what is driving the current growth in the domestic oil and natural gas production. The hydraulic fracturing process is an integral part of the wholesale fuel business in the United States. If you need wholesale fuel, call Kendrick Oil at (800) 299-3991 You can also read more about our company on our About Us page or drop us an email on our Contact Us page. We look forward to working with you.