Fracking to Provide Energy to Consumers

Fracking refers to hydraulic fracturing, a drilling type that has been in use for about 65 years now. Basically, Hydraulic fracturing involves drilling downwards while gradually turning horizontally. While using this method of drilling, mining companies can drill multiple wells in a single site. Once the wells have been drilled, they are cased and cemented.
Tiny perforations are then made along the horizontal section of the well pipe. A mixture of sand and water, along with other additives is then pumped through these perforations at high pressure. This high pressure creates micro-fractures within the tight rock formations and the sand holds the new openings. The application of Fracking by companies across the globe may be attributed to the many benefits it has to offer, some of which are discussed below.
Economic Benefits of Fracking
The use of new technology in hydraulic fracturing has had a direct economic impact. For instance, it has increased gas and oil production considerably. The natural gas from shale gas wells in the USA in 2011 was worth about $36 billion, at the rate of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet. This increased production and value of oil and natural gas has also created employment opportunities for more people within the production and delivery processes.
According to information by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the oil and gas mining sector employed 267,000 people in 1980. This figure declined in over the two decades that followed as a result of reduced oil production in the country. However, the number of people employed by this industry has been increasing steadily since 2003. This increased production has also enhanced the energy trade balance involving the USA and other countries.
Other Benefits Associated with Fracking
In addition to the economic benefits offered by this mining method, it has also had an impact on other industries as well. One of the industries that has benefited from the use of hydraulic fracturing in the USA is the energy industry. Based on data released by EIA, the use of natural gas in the country has increased drastically to 24.757 quadrillion Btu per year in 2011. A considerable amount of the natural gas consumed in the country is used to generate electricity. This may be attributed to the fact that more electricity generation plants are switching from the use of coal to natural gas.
Owing to the increased production brought about by shale and fracking, it is projected that the USA may become the leading oil producing country by 2015. This is according to projections by the International Energy Agency projects. EIA, on the other hand, projects that gas production in the country will increase by 56 percent by 2040.