Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking")
Yes, hydraulic fracturing is being used extensively in Canada and is increasingly being used in other countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. Learn more:
Conducted properly, hydraulic fracturing has little possibility of contaminating water supplies.
Most of the water and additives used in hydraulic fracturing remain in the oil and gas formation being produced, deep underground.
An area undergoing production of oil or gas using hydraulic fracturing technology shares a number of features with any other area where conventional oil or gas is developed such as roads, pipelines, compressor stations, and processing facilities.
In a conventional oil or gas field, where the oil or gas is in relatively porous and permeable rock (i.e. the pores are connected), the oil or gas can usually flow naturally from the reservoir rock to the wellbore.
The process is the same whether a well is hydraulically fractured or not. Pipes from the wellhead connect to onsite or nearby gas processing facilities and then into commercial gas pipelines.
Reports of hydraulic fracturing causing earthquakes large enough to be felt at the surface are extremely rare, with only three occurrences reported as of late 2012, in Great Britain, Oklahoma, and Canada.
There may not be a “typical” fractured well because the water used depends on the rock formation, the operator, whether the well is vertical or horizontal, and the number of portions (or stages) of the well that are fractured.
Fracking, fracing, and hydrofracking are commonly used to refer to hydraulic fracturing.
The actual practice of hydraulic fracturing is only a small portion of the overall process of drilling, completing, and producing an oil and gas well.
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