As petroleum reserves extracted by typical methods begin to run dry, many opportunistic petroleum companies have turned to hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas located in more difficult locations.
Natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has become more common in the last decade or so, and a buzzword in political, economic, and environmental conversations, alike. While there is great opportunity to extract natural gas via fracking, to feed our growing energy demands, there is also great danger in exploiting those natural gas reserves by this method.
What is hydraulic fracturing, anyways, and why all the fuss? Haven’t we been pulling petroleum out of the ground for, well [pun intended], centuries? As if traditional petroleum extraction didn’t have its own long list of problems, such as Exxon Valdez in 1989 or, more recently, BP’s Deepwater Horizon blowout, fracking has its own special process and multitude of ways that it can fail, dramatically. Thanks to some German animators, found on YouTube, we can get a good idea of what hydraulic fracturing really entails and how much of a problem it is already becoming.
Thanks for releasing a version in English! So, to sum up, extracting natural gas via hydraulic fracturing, good for some, the energy companies, politicians, and landowners’ bank accounts.
On the other hand, fracking, bad for pretty much everyone else’ health, including the landowners, thanks to increased earthquake tendency and carcinogenic chemicals leaching into groundwater [they can’t be cleaned out by water treatment plants]. Don’t forget millions of tons of greenhouse gases released during extraction!
Fracking, Just Say Nay!
Image © Kurzgesagt [screen]