Most of the concerns in regards to hydraulic fracturing for gas wells around the world, as well as in north central PA, have been the end result of toxins and chemicals ending up in the ground water, nearby waterways or land owners well systems. The current mixtures used to fracture wells have a variety of poisonous components that include biocides, surfactants and scale inhibitors. Since each well is different the type of chemicals and their amounts may differ. Until recently there has been very little fracturing activity on the east coast in the Marcellus Shale region. For this reason there are still a lot of unknowns as far as what toxins may be included in the fracturing mixtures used here. If you want more details or would like to know what toxins are more commonly found in fracturing fluids from the western states please check out this website.
However, there are non-toxic and less toxic fracturing options available. One of these has been dubbed Greenslurry. According to Schlumberger, a green chemical company, it has been “Meeting stringent environmental guidelines in both the U.K. North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The new Schlumberger Greenslurry system delivers consistent, earth-friendly performance.” Off shore drilling companies have been utilizing the Greenslurry for a while since the regulations for what these companies can dump in the ocean are different from those on land. More info can be found here.
I think that in order for the extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to be considered successful in more ways than private energy companies making millions of dollars, is for the least amount of harmful impact to be pressed upon the environment as well as the homes and safety of the people in this area. I am finding out that there are other ways to go about drilling these wells and other ways to use and recycle the contaminated water from Fracturing, but the methods are not being used here. Hopefully we can change that.
Filed under: science and technologies Tagged: | clean water, drilling in mid-atlantic, earth friendly greenslurry, frac, frack, fracking, greenslurry, hydraulic fracturing, hydro fracturing, Mineral managment Service, natural gas, north sea, oil, schlumberger, tioga county natural gas, toxicity tests, U.K., water quality, water regulations