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Is Fracking Really Dangerous?

Updated: Dec 21, 2018

As a mineral owner, you may have found yourself wondering about the ongoing discussions in the media regarding the controversial subject of fracking. With all of the contradicting information out there, it can be difficult to know who and what to believe.

Hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, is a process that permits oil and natural gas to be extracted from tight shale formations. After the drilling of the well is complete, water, chemicals and sand are injected at a very high rate of pressure. This injection process opens and expands the rock fractures in the shale and allows oil and gas to flow from the fractures and into the wellbore.

Take a look into the technology that has been around for more than 60 years, and decide for yourself; is fracking really dangerous?

Although fracking has received lots of controversial media attention in the last few years, government studies have shown that fracking is in fact both safe and sustainable. A popular argument that anti-fracking activists use is the accusation that fracking contaminates the ground water around the fracking site. A study released by the Environmental Protection Agency in June of 2015 asserted that there is no evidence that fracking has led to any “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the Unites States.”

It is possible that water contamination can occur through operator negligence, such as ground spills of fracking fluids or improper treatment of wastewater. While these are slight possibilities, it doesn’t warrant discounting fracking as a whole. According to Alex Epstein, a writer for Forbes, if this were the case, “any technology that could be misused should be outlawed.” However, it does mean that the rigorous standards currently in place need to be monitored, to discourage these kinds of careless accidents from happening.

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