What The Frack – Part 1
When I came up with the title for this post I said to myself that it just sounds devious and nasty. After pondering on it for awhile I realized that this is just what the no nothing liberals want everyone to think. Somehow one of the greatest engineering processes that has been developed is being demonized as a two headed monster that will destroy mankind. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The first thing one has to learn is the true terminology for fracking and that is the drilling process known as “Hydraulic Fracturing“. Breaking down the phrase one can get a very good idea of just what this process is. Hydraulic relates to a fluid under pressure and Fracturing means to break. So what we have is a process using a fluid to break something. When Hydraulic Fracturing is used in drilling for oil or gas, it simply means to use water to break the rocks in which the hydrocarbons are entrapped.
It is very rare when drilling for oil to find a source that allows for easy extraction. The vast majority of oil and gas supplies are entrapped and require more than just a pump to get them up. This is where Hydraulic Fracturing comes in to play and the reason for its development is a monument to private industry.
Back in the early 70’s we had the “Arab Oil Crisis” in this country. This crisis was caused by an embargo of crude oil supplies by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, better known as OPEC. The reaction to this embargo and the resultant shortage of gasoline was an outcry from the liberal left wanting to know why the oil companies could not supply oil from American sources. They pointed in particular to the oil shale areas of Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and other states that contained huge amounts of oil and gas. The only problem was that there was no method, at that time, which would allow for the economical extraction of the hydrocarbons entrapped in the shale. This was in spite of the fact that Hydraulic Fracturing had been in use for over 40 years. For the extraction of oil and gas from shale the industry had to develop one more ingenious process; horizontal drilling.
The picture above is what many people normally associate with oil drilling, countless oil drilling platforms or pumps extending to the horizon. Fortunately that is no longer the case when drilling for oil or gas. Imagine that you are drilling a hole into a piece of wood. Halfway thru the piece of wood you all of sudden can make a 90 degree turn and continuing drilling. What would you think about that? Well, that is exactly what is being done in the oil/gas drilling business. Instead of having hundreds of drilling rigs, the industry can now drill over thousands of acres of land from a small footprint of land. This is the process known as “Horizontal Drilling Technology”. Think of it like this; imagine a wheel were the hub is the vertical drilling pipe and the spokes are the horizontal drilling pipes connected to it. All of those spokes would feed back to the hub thereby allowing a huge amount of the deposit being tapped from a very small intrusion on the surface.
By combining Horizontal Drilling Technology with Hydraulic Fracturing vast reserves of oil and natural gas are now available to the American people.
Instead of seeing towers and pumps across the vista, you would see a drilling platform like the one in the middle of this picture. A close up view of a typical drilling plot would look like the picture below.
As you can see this drilling site is no more intrusive than a truck parking lot. And once the drilling is completed the following picture shows you just what will replace the drill rig and ancillary equipment.
In the next part of this series I will walk you through the details of the actual process of fracking. The post will look at the equipment, material and techniques employed in order to develop these vast resources of “American Made” energy.
The dawn of a new age in which America does not have to depend on foreign sources for oil and gas is upon us. The time is long overdue for Americans to wake up and take advantage of it.