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Hydraulic Fracking (Essay Sample)

The task entailed writing a report. The sample paper is about hydraulic fracking. source..
Hydraulic Fracking Name: Institution: Hydraulic Fracking Fracking entails the use of extremely pressured fluid to disintegrate rock. It uses small explosives to shoot holes into the rock. Fracking fluid, which comprises of water, sand, and a range of chemicals, is injected to fracture the rock using very high pressure. The purpose of hydraulic fracking is to mine previously inaccessible gas and oil from the crust of the earth crust. In Taranaki In Taranaki, as well as other parts of New Zealand, fracking has been in use for nearly 20 years. There have correspondingly been appeals for the procedure to be stopped. Poor management of the fracking process can pose environmental risks. Some of the concerns include groundwater contamination and the trigger of small earthquakes. This report will evaluate the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing in New Zealand. The report will also analyze a management tool for improving environmental performance of hydraulic fracturing in New Zealand. Fracking is a form of ‘hydraulic fracturing' contraction. It refers to the procedure that uses a fluid under high pressure to crack rock. After the drilling of the well into the surface of the earth, and the cementing in place of the steel casings, the use of small explosives to shoot holes in the casings and into the rock follows. Fracking fluid, which comprises of various chemicals such as water and sand, under high pressure, is injected to fracture the rock. The sand grains hold the small cracks within the opened rock, allowing gas and oil to flow onto the well. Massive quantities of wastewater pour out of the pit together with the gas and oil (De Pater & Baisch, 2011). Researchers identify the wastewater as ‘produced water' as the pit emits it. In the produced water, some of it is the fracking fluid being returned to the earth's surface. The remainder is water, which is mostly very salty that was trapped within a rock underground. The majority of gas and oil, which has been mined – conventional gas and oil – is found within the covered reservoir rock, which is both permeable and porous. Drilling into the correct place permits the gas and oil to emit. However, in the rock where penetrability is low, gas or oil cannot be mined so effortlessly. Fracking is a method, which unlocks these reserves through creating novel paths in which the gas and oil can travel – fracturing the rock to render it permeable (De Pater & Baisch, 2011). During the late 19th century, well shooting techniques were used to fracture rocks to obtain more oil from mines. This entailed setting off nitroglycerine torpedoes through a pit. The first execution of Hydraulic fracturing of wells with oil, commercially, took place during March of 1949 (Ellsworth et al., 2012). These first fracking processes used a small number of thousand liters of fluid for fracking, comprised of gasoline, crude oil and sand, amounting to a hundred kilograms. From the ‘60s, scientists tested a new form of fracking practice and later deserted it– exploding atomic devices to ‘accelerate' gas and oil mines. After this, enhancing hydraulic fracturing through a high-pressure fluid became the leading research focus. Scientists particularly developed two technologies, which led to contemporary fracking (Burnham et al., 2012). The contemporary fracking technique differs from the 19th century techniques in the drilling process. The 19th century techniques used crude oil, gasoline, sand and atomic devices to fracture wells rendering the process unsafe to both humans and the environment. In primeval New Zealand, gas and oil fizzed and leaked upward to the earth's surface of the intact rivers and bushes. New Zealand's gas and oil deposits were formed from the suppressed life of antique oceans and bush and drizzled all over the nation. They first accrued in low-lying regions and shifted around through tectonic plates, afore ending up in such places as the Great South Basin and Taranaki. In New Zealand, the history of fracking is short. Taranaki area first practiced it, at a mine known as Petrocorp's Kaimiro-2 gas, in 1989, although there might have been past instances. Nearly all the fracking, which occurs in New Zealand, is done in Taranaki, now and in the past (Burnham et al., 2012). There have been two unsuccessful attempts in fracking petroleum gas at Ohai in Southland, in addition to, Waikato's Solid Energy's petroleum seam gas trial. At present, the only servicer with the ability and equipment to perform hydraulic fracturing within New Zealand is Baker Hughes. With a substantial rise in gas and oil fracking upon the possibility, as well as, with the controversy concerning fracking abroad, it was unavoidable that concerns on the technology would surface in New Zealand. Up to 2011, the term ‘fracking' was almost unknown within New Zealand. However, in March of that year, the media reports began to emerge with the ‘Climate Justice Taranaki's' group opposing fracking procedures. By July, 2011, the state media run stories concerning fracking, with some groups, in addition to, a rising number of persons questioning, or opposed to, the practice. The alarms that have expressed concern of the fracking practice in New Zealand are varied and many (Frohlich, 2012). Environmental Issues associated with Fracking Practice The chemicals used in the fracking fluid pose a huge environmental issue. The use of the fluid for fracking is the main difference in the production of traditional gas and oil. If not managed properly, the produced water that contains fracking fluid can also contaminate water, air and soil. The usage of product labels instead of chemical labels for a few of the ingredients contained in the fracking fluid is also a concern. Another environmental issue is the pollution of aquifers. The injection of wastewater, fracking fluid into the earth and the possibility of contamination of groundwater are a main concern. The fracking fluid and the wastewater might contain harmful chemicals such as heavy metals and radioactive materials that can pollute aquifers (Arthur, Bohm, Cornue, 2012). Soil contamination is another environmental issue posed by the fracking practice. There is concern that the 'land farming' practice; for example, spreading wastes into agricultural land can contaminate food along with groundwater. In addition, an examination, which could detect contaminants, is insufficient. The fracking practice can damage papatuanuku. For Māori, destroying the life force of Mother Nature threatens future sources of water and food. Some regions are traditional mahinga kai's sources for local Māori people (Broderick et al., 2011). A major environmental concern associated with the fracking practice is triggering of small earthquakes. Whereas the hyrdraulic fracking itself triggers small ‘micro' tremors, these are nearly unnoticeable at the earth's surface. However, fracking a well close to an active volcano, it can cause large earthquakes, though they are; nonetheless, small. However, there is a greater likelihood of earthquakes from injection of wastewater since it involves larger water volumes. Climate change is also a concern. There are two concerns regarding climate change. First, there is anxiety about methane, a strong greenhouse gas, oozing into the air. Secondly, utilizing more gas and oil will increase emissions of carbon dioxide and prevent investment in energy that is renewable. In regions where a lot of well sites might be established, there are fears that whereas the outcomes of one mine might be trivial, the impacts of many might be very massive (Arthur, Bohm & Cornue, 2012). The amount of water utilized in the fracking fluid is a concern too. This is not as much of a problem in Taranaki wherein the precipitation is high. However, it is a main concern in arid areas in which water can at times be rare. The threat of fracking resulting in considerable environmental harm is critically reliant on each phase of the procedure to be performed with great caution. The well's nearness to aquifers, and the main faults are particularly crucial due to the well's quality in design and construction. Chemicals need to be managed carefully to avoid leaks and spills, and waste has to be correctly disposed of to prevent environmental pollution. When fracking is performed well, the possibility and cruelty of environmental harm are small equated to various other economic undertakings. Alternatively, when it is performed badly, the threats are higher. Therefore, managing processes well right throughout the procedure is very significant (Arthur, Bohm & Cornue, 2012). The Environmental Management Tool for Fracking Practice The Well's Site Location The possibility of environmental harm from fracking rests upon where drilling and fracking occur. In geological expressions, New Zealand is incredibly ‘active and young.' Drilling must only occur with great caution, especially if it is within the locality of major aquifers or faults utilized for irrigation or drinking water. Awareness of the extent and depth of groundwater courses and aquifers is similarly critical since pollutants may travel (Arthur, Bohm & Cornue, 2012). The Well's Construction and Design The well's integrity is of primary significance in guaranteeing produced water, and hydrocarbons (together with fracking fluid) do not leak from the mine. In constructing a well, engineers should consider the number of casing layers, how far the casing stretches and the cement's quality, which fastens it to the adjoining rock. In addition, they should design it in such a way that the casing remains integral regardless of ground movements, including earthquakes (Broderick et al., 2011). The Surface Spills and Lea...
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