Showing posts from October 18, 2009

That Fracking Gas

                                      That Fracking Gas In the science fantasy TV adventure, Battlestar Galactic , angry moments led to passionate comments about some “fracking” whatever. Frack was never defined, but it was obviously bad. A nonfiction term of “fracking” may be truly bad for alternative energy. Fracking refers to fracturing of rock strata to increase flow of natural gas (methane) and often smaller amounts of other hydrocarbons. The process is particularly useful in loosening gas from shale deposits. Advances in horizontal drilling and three-dimensional (3-D) seismometry allow drilling a spider web of bore holes into a layer of shale. Then, high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals are pumped into the bore holes, causing them to swell and cause cracks in the rock. These fractures allow more passageways for the natural gas (or other fluids such as petroleum) to flow out faster. Fracking is a major factor in a 35-percent increase in U.S. natural gas reserves during