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Manual What the Frack? Everything you need to know about coal seam gas

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The additives help alter the surface tension between the fluid and the coal, enhancing its mobility through the fracture network — they also dissolve minerals, stabilise the clays and prevent corrosion. The grains of sand prop open the fractures, improving the effectiveness of the extraction technique.

The long-term ramifications of those chemical additives leaking into adjacent freshwater aquifers are as yet unknown, and hydraulic fracturing has been linked to small earthquakes in England and the USA. Plans for CSG exploratory drilling in heavily populated urban areas, like that proposed for the suburb of St Peters in Sydney, are causing genuine community alarm.

The impacts of a CSG well are not only felt in the immediate locality. The influence of depressurisation can extend horizontally for several kilometres through a seam. Usually the change in pressure between vertical layers is minimal — but if the rocks are permeable or cracked, then, over years or decades, overlying aquifers could be affected, potentially lowering water levels and ultimately impacting irrigation and domestic wells. If we subsequently find out that CSG was the cause, nothing could be done in the short term to restore water levels in affected wells.

It would take decades — perhaps even centuries — to restore pressures throughout aquifers. Some CSG wells, in particular in Queensland, will produce tens of millions of litres of waste water each year. Much of this water is saline and, if released, has the potential to alter the temperature, acidity and chemistry of local streams and lakes, wiping out plants and animals.

the impact of Proposed Coal Seam Gas drilling on the Helensburgh district & water catchment

Even with best practices adopted, accidents still happen. In the Pilliga, for example, thousands of litres of saline water have already been released, killing trees near one CSG drilling site. To date, most CSG waste has been stored in ponds, but this is an unsatisfactory solution. As the water evaporates, the salts in it concentrate, forming brines.

The development of Australias coal seam gas resources

Thus, creating conductive fractures in the rock is instrumental in extraction from naturally impermeable shale reservoirs. Permeability is measured in the micro darcy to nanodarcy range. So-called "super fracking," creates cracks deeper in the rock formation to release more oil and gas, and increases efficiency.

While the main industrial use of hydraulic fracturing is in stimulating production from oil and gas wells , [89] [90] [91] hydraulic fracturing is also applied:.

What is coal seam gas (CSG)?

Since the late s, hydraulic fracturing has been used, in some cases, to increase the yield of drinking water from wells in a number of countries, including the United States, Australia, and South Africa. Hydraulic fracturing has been seen as one of the key methods of extracting unconventional oil and unconventional gas resources.

As a rule, formations of these resources have lower permeability than conventional gas formations. Therefore, depending on the geological characteristics of the formation, specific technologies such as hydraulic fracturing are required.

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Although there are also other methods to extract these resources, such as conventional drilling or horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing is one of the key methods making their extraction economically viable. The multi-stage fracturing technique has facilitated the development of shale gas and light tight oil production in the United States and is believed to do so in the other countries with unconventional hydrocarbon resources.

A large majority of studies indicate that hydraulic fracturing in the United States has had a strong positive economic benefit so far. Most of this benefit is within the consumer and industrial sectors due to the significantly reduced prices for natural gas. The primary benefit of hydraulic fracturing is to offset imports of natural gas and oil, where the cost paid to producers otherwise exits the domestic economy.

However, shale oil and gas is highly subsidisied in the US, and has not yet covered production costs [] - meaning that the cost of hydraulic fracturing is paid for in income taxes, and in many cases is up to double the cost paid at the pump. Research suggests that hydraulic fracturing wells have an adverse impact on agricultural productivity in the vicinity of the wells.

This effect becomes smaller and weaker as the distance between township and wells increases. An anti-fracking movement has emerged both internationally with involvement of international environmental organizations and nations such as France and locally in affected areas such as Balcombe in Sussex where the Balcombe drilling protest was in progress during mid According to Matt Pitzarella, the communications director at Range Resources , employees trained in the Middle East have been valuable to Range Resources in Pennsylvania, when dealing with emotionally charged township meetings and advising townships on zoning and local ordinances dealing with hydraulic fracturing.

ergo-library.therefore.ca/locate-messenger-on-nokia-22.php There have been many protests directed at hydraulic fracturing. For example, ten people were arrested in during an anti-fracking protest near New Matamoras, Ohio, after they illegally entered a development zone and latched themselves to drilling equipment. In a number of European officials suggested that several major European protests against hydraulic fracturing with mixed success in Lithuania and Ukraine may be partially sponsored by Gazprom , Russia's state-controlled gas company.

The New York Times suggested that Russia saw its natural gas exports to Europe as a key element of its geopolitical influence, and that this market would diminish if hydraulic fracturing is adopted in Eastern Europe, as it opens up significant shale gas reserves in the region.

Russian officials have on numerous occasions made public statements to the effect that hydraulic fracturing "poses a huge environmental problem". Maryland [] and Vermont have permanently banned hydraulic fracturing, and New York and North Carolina have instituted temporary bans. New Jersey currently has a bill before its legislature to extend a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that recently expired. Although a hydraulic fracturing moratorium was recently lifted in the United Kingdom, the government is proceeding cautiously because of concerns about earthquakes and the environmental impact of drilling.

Hydraulic fracturing is currently banned in France and Bulgaria. Josh Fox 's Academy Award nominated film Gasland [] became a center of opposition to hydraulic fracturing of shale. The movie presented problems with groundwater contamination near well sites in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Colorado. The film Promised Land , starring Matt Damon , takes on hydraulic fracturing. In January , Northern Irish journalist and filmmaker Phelim McAleer released a crowdfunded [] documentary called FrackNation as a response to the statements made by Fox in Gasland , claiming it "tells the truth about fracking for natural gas".

The premiere corresponded with the release of Promised Land. In April , Josh Fox released Gasland 2 , his "international odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination related to hydraulic fracking". It challenges the gas industry's portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil as a myth, and that hydraulically fractured wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth's climate with the potent greenhouse gas methane.

The film covers the politics, spiritual, scientific, medical and professional points of view on hydraulic fracturing. It also digs into the way the gas industry portrays hydraulic fracturing in their advertising. Typically the funding source of the research studies is a focal point of controversy. Concerns have been raised about research funded by foundations and corporations, or by environmental groups, which can at times lead to at least the appearance of unreliable studies.

However, it is important to note that many of the most-cited studies over the last decade are either government estimates, environmentalist group reports, or peer-reviewed papers from academic scientists, including a EPA report that significantly lowered estimates of methane leakage compared to previous estimates, and a study commissioned by the environmentalist group Environmental Defense Fund and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , which similarly showed that the environmental effects of natural gas production were overestimated.

There is concern over the possible adverse public health implications of hydraulic fracturing activity. In June Public Health England published a review of the potential public health impacts of exposures to chemical and radioactive pollutants as a result of shale gas extraction in the UK, based on the examination of literature and data from countries where hydraulic fracturing already occurs. Most evidence suggests that contamination of groundwater , if it occurs, is most likely to be caused by leakage through the vertical borehole.

Contamination of groundwater from the underground hydraulic fracturing process itself i. However, surface spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids or wastewater may affect groundwater, and emissions to air also have the potential to impact on health. Where potential risks have been identified in the literature, the reported problems are typically a result of operational failure and a poor regulatory environment. A report prepared for the European Union Directorate-General for the Environment identified potential risks to humans from air pollution and ground water contamination posed by hydraulic fracturing.


  • The Handbook of Microbiological Media for the Examination of Food.
  • What is fracking? › Ask an Expert (ABC Science).
  • Coal seam gas?

A study in the American Economic Review found that "additional well pads drilled within 1 kilometer of a community water system intake increases shale gas-related contaminants in drinking water. Statistics collected by the U. Department of Labor and analyzed by the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a correlation between drilling activity and the number of occupational injuries related to drilling and motor vehicle accidents, explosions, falls, and fires. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSH identified exposure to airborne silica as a health hazard to workers conducting some hydraulic fracturing operations.

Additionally, the extraction workforce is at increased risk for radiation exposure.

Fracking activities often require drilling into rock that contains naturally occurring radioactive material NORM , such as radon, thorium, and uranium. Another report done by the Canadian Medical Journal reported that after researching they identified 55 factors that may cause cancer, including 20 that have been shown to increase the risk of leukemia and lymphoma. The Yale Public Health analysis warns that millions of people living within a mile of fracking wells may have been exposed to these chemicals.

The potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing include air emissions and climate change, high water consumption, groundwater contamination, land use, risk of earthquakes, noise pollution, and health effects on humans. Hydraulic fracturing uses between 1. Additional water is used when wells are refractured. The possibility of groundwater contamination from brine and fracturing fluid leakage through old abandoned wells is low. About 3. Well pad and supporting structure construction significantly fragments landscapes which likely has negative effects on wildlife.

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In addition, noise is created by continuous truck traffic sand, etc. In July , the US Federal Railroad Administration listed oil contamination by hydraulic fracturing chemicals as "a possible cause" of corrosion in oil tank cars. Hydraulic fracturing has been sometimes linked to induced seismicity or earthquakes.

Geological Survey reported that up to 7. Microseismic events are often used to map the horizontal and vertical extent of the fracturing. People obtain drinking water from either surface water, which includes rivers and reservoirs, or groundwater aquifers, accessed by public or private wells. There are already a host of documented instances in which nearby groundwater has been contaminated by fracking activities, requiring residents with private wells to obtain outside sources of water for drinking and everyday use. Despite these health concerns and efforts to institute a moratorium on fracking until its environmental and health effects are better understood, the United States continues to rely heavily on fossil fuel energy.

Countries using or considering use of hydraulic fracturing have implemented different regulations, including developing federal and regional legislation, and local zoning limitations. The European Union has adopted a recommendation for minimum principles for using high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Department of Energy.

Coal Seam Gas: Economic Boom or Environmental Bust?

The EPA assures surveillance of the issuance of drilling permits when diesel fuel is employed. In , Vermont became the first state in the United States to ban hydraulic fracturing. On 17 December , New York became the second state to issue a complete ban on any hydraulic fracturing due to potential risks to human health and the environment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about hydraulic fracturing. For its use by country, see Hydraulic fracturing by country. Shale gas drilling rig near Alvarado, Texas. Schematic depiction of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. Main article: Fracture geology. Main articles: Hydraulic fracturing proppants and List of additives for hydraulic fracturing. Main article: Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. See also: Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Exemptions for hydraulic fracturing under United States federal law.

See also: Hydraulic fracturing by country and Regulation of hydraulic fracturing.