Fracking refers to a technique used to extract natural resources from deep supplies in shale deposits. It is also a term that has come to symbolize further misconceptions about the oil industry. Although many people are familiar with the term, they have very little understanding of what fracking is all about.
In fact, a recent public opinion poll found that in America, upwards of 74% of the population has no idea about what fracking is and how it works. Even still, that hasn’t stopped the drumbeat of the supposed dangers associated with this process. As someone who works in the oil industry, you may find yourself on the firing line to defend fracking if it comes up in social situations. Here are some suggestions about what you could say regarding these common fracking misconceptions:
“Fracking is polluting our water supply.”
We get most of our drinking water from tables that are just a couple of hundred feet below the surface. Fracking doesn’t happen until the pipes hit around several thousands of feet below the surface. To get to the precious resources, the drills must pass through solid rock. Down in the Bakken Formation, the drills are hitting depths of over 10,000 feet.
Then there is the issue of well casings. There are at least four layers of heavy steel and cement between the resources being extracted and the outside elements of the shaft. Before anything is drawn up to the extraction points, the casings are firmly planted in cement, which adds another layer of protection for the water tables.
Here’s another fun fact that most people aren’t aware of, some form of fracking has been in operation since 1940. Since then, millions of wells have incorporated this process. If this process was polluting our drinking supply we would have heard about it long ago.
“Fracking wastes water.”
Check the numbers. When compared to the amount of water used for coal mines or at nuclear power plants, you’ll find that fracking uses less water. Couple that with the increased use of recycling at fracking sites and you’ll find that fracking isn’t wasting very much water at all.
“Fracking creates toxins that seep into the soil.”
That’s odd when you consider that 99% of the fluid pumped into the fracking wells is water. The compounds added to the water are sand and common household chemicals. There is plenty of data that has broken down the chemical components of the fluids found around fracking site. Despite the hype, none of these compounds have proven to be an environmental concern.
“Fracking creates earthquakes.”
According to representatives from the US Geological Survey that simply isn’t true. On the other hand, wastewater disposal wells have been directly linked to causing mild earthquakes. Is there a cry for those wells to be shut down? Actually, that issue can be resolved by taking those wells out of earthquake zones and reducing the amount of water injected into them.
Now if someone brings up the horrors of fracking, you’ll be ready to set them straight.