We're local, we're best, we're CPS.

Domestic 01953 713950

Commercial 01953 713540

Posted on: 27/04/2017

What is Fracking? CPS Fuels Information Sheet

CPS Fuels Info Sheet: What is Fracking?

Fracking diagramHydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, is a technique that recovers gas and oil trapped between natural gaps in shale rock. Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of clay mineral flakes and tiny fragments of other minerals. Fracking is highly controversial as some see it as essential to securing energy for years to come whereas others see it as a threat to far to the stability of the environment.

Fracking Technique

The natural gaps in between the shale rock have historically trapped gas or oil. The fracking technique involves drilling vertically down into shale rock, then blasting in a high pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals which displaces and releases the liquid hydrocarbons that form fossil fuel to the surface.

Fracking concerns

Concern from environmental groups exists in a few key areas.

A huge amount of water is required for fracking which causes issues when transported to the sites. Chemicals used in the blasting mix have previously been shown to be harmful, but industry specialists insist that this was due to bad practice by smaller ill-informed fracking firms in the early years.

Another concern created by the fracking process is the potential for earth quakes and earth tremors. Blasting out the very foundations of land could have untold catastrophic consequences. In 2011, Blackpool felt 2 small earthquakes at a magnitude of 1.5 and 2.2 on the Richter scale following nearby fracking. Professor Ernie Rutter from the University of Manchester said, “It’s always recognised as a potential hazard of the technique, but they’re unlikely to be felt by many people and very unlikely to cause any damage.”

Fracking Rig

The larger issue raised by environmental groups is that governments are still relying on the earth’s fossil fuels rather than investing time and money into renewable ideas such as solar panels or wind turbines.

Benefits of Fracking

The argument for the fracking process highlights that the process can extract the hard-to-access, much needed oil and gas, within a counties own boarders, thus potentially reducing reliance on imported energy in the form of oil or gas. The USA has seen a recent boost in prices for heating oil but a significant fall in gas prices. Experts in the US estimate that they have secured gas supplies for the next 100 years.

Reserves of shale gas have been identified across the UK and firms are lining up to sign lucrative contracts, however no fracking is currently taking place.