An inside look at fracking a well

Crew from Andarko Petroleum Corp. works on fracking a well

Crew from Andarko Petroleum Corp. works on fracking a well

This article gives a nice, and balanced overview of the hydraulic fracturing or fracking process used to fracture rock and extract oil and gas from a formation that you could not produce from otherwise. 90 percent of oil and gas wells in Colorado are fracked according to the article. And most fracking is done in a safe and responsible way using sound technology and practices. According to Matt Watson, an energy policy specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington D.C.:

The biggest pollution problems have been caused by surface spills, abandoned wells and poorly constructed wells, which allow gas, oil and chemicals to escape…


There is also a nice graphic showing the composition of fracking fluid, the source of much concern in the media and with environmental groups. The fluid is 99.4% water and sand (91.1% water and 8.3% sand). The remaining 0.6% does have some chemicals in it, but it hardly sounds like the toxic fluid that it is commonly portrayed as. The used fluids can be a potential hazard, but in Colorado, 68% of wells have a closed system where the fluid is pumped back to closed tanks and much of it is re-used. [Source: The Denver Post via The RockWare Blog. Image: Denver Post – RJ Sangosti]

1 Comment

  1. Good post, Randy. Unfortunately, the “anti-_____” crowd seems to get the upperhand with this type of stuff, such that the mis-information becomes “the truth”. Ah, the plight of being an engineer / geologist!

Comments are closed.