Fracking 101

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" is a process in which dangerous chemicals, mixed with enormous amounts of water, polymers and sand, are injected thousands of feet underground at pressures high enough to cause seismic explosions and create and prop open fissures in the sediment.  This allows oil and natural gas to more easily escape and flow out of the strata to the producing wells.

Fracking has been employed for decades, however, more sophisticated techniques were developed by Halliburton and Schulmberger in the last decade.  It is these new types of fracking processes that are used in nearly all of today’s natural gas extractions.

After fracturing, some of the fluids remain stranded underground. These fluids may include hazardous chemicals such as biocides, diesel fuel, acids, metals, ethylene glycol, corrosion inhibitors, and other chemicals. Hydraulic fracturing often occurs just after a well has been drilled, although many wells are re-fractured multiple times after a well goes into production.

In 2005, Vice-President, Dick Cheney, required the EPA to exempt the oil and gas industry and the practice of hydraulic fracturing from the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, making the oil and gas industry the only industry allowed to inject toxic fluids directly into good quality groundwater without oversight by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Current state-wide public outcry from areas of the United States suffering from the accelerated expansion of gas production particularly the Marcellus Shale Zone which runs through the Eastern States, to the Shale Zone of the Midwestern States of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and now to California with the planned exploitation of the Monterey Shale considered to be the largest untapped shale play in the United States.

The Inglewood oil field has a shale formation called the Nodular Shale that Plains Exploration & Production plans to drill four wells into horizontally and hydraulically fracture later this year. The Newport-Inglewood fault along with many others bisect the oil field diagonally, we think this is risk no community should be subjected to by private enterprise considering FEMA rates this fault zone capable of generating a magnitude 7.4 earthquake on the Richter scale.

Highly recommend visiting Desmog's "Fracking the Future," which footnotes direct links to numerous studies.     The PDF version can also be downloaded below.

Is Your Water At Risk From Fracking?


"Every time a hole is made through an aquifer, there is contamination."
                                                                    "All gas well casings will fail over time."

Dr. Ingraffea discusses hydrofracking casing leaks & more

The Facts on Fracking - FULL PRESENTATION


The keynote below is in three parts. The first part deals largely with well integrity, or lack there-of due to inevitible cement failures and human health impacts The second part deals with methane emissions from the shale-gas industry, and the imperative of reducing this powerful greenhouse gas immediately. The last part is the Q and A

Ingraffea Keynote - What can go wrong? - Part 1

Ingraffea Keynote - What can go wrong? - Part 2

Ingraffea Keynote - Q & A - Part 3

More useful resources and information on fracking below.

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  480k v. 2 May 31, 2012, 2:43 AM Sally Hampton
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  754k v. 2 May 29, 2012, 11:41 PM Sally Hampton