Hydraulic Fracturing

A Green Future
By Kelsie Ponder


Disadvantages/problems associated by common hydraulic fracturing.

Technologies being explored.
-Wastewater clean-up.
-Waterless hydraulic fracturing.
-Plunger lift systems.

-Green completions.

Disadvantages and Problems Associated
with Hydraulic Fracturing

Around 400 trucks are used to carry water and supplies to and from 1 well.

Each fracturing site uses 1-8 million gallons of water.

1 fracturing job uses an average of 40,000 gallons of chemicals (in fracking fluid).

There are around 600 different chemicals used in fracking fluid. Many of these
chemicals are known carcinogens and toxins like lead, mercury, ethylene glycol,
hydrochloric acid, and radium.

Methane gas and toxic chemicals have the potential to leak out and contaminate
groundwater. This can lead to sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage if

Around 50%- 70% of fracking fluid is left in the ground. (Toxic and not

International Energy Agency estimates the use of water for natural gas production
will rise 86% by 2035.

Greener Technologies: Reducing Water

Wastewater Clean-Up

Removing organic materials and contaminants from flowback water can
allow drillers to reuse the water to drill new wells.

EcoSphere: Mobile water-treatment plants that remove bacteria, petroleum
products, and other organic compounds from flowback water through oxidation.
OriginOil: Exploring the technology of using electromagnetic waves to
remove contaminants from flowback water.

Greener Technologies: Reducing Water

Waterless Hydraulic Fracturing

Replacing water in the hydraulic fracturing process with liquefied
petroleum gas (LPG). Examples of LGP are propane and butane.

GasFrac: Company uses propane in a gel form in hydraulic fracturing.
eCORP: Offers a non-flammable liquid propane form of hydraulic fracturing.

Greener Technologies: Reducing Water

According to FracFocus, oil and gas operators are making use of seasonal changes
in river flow to capture water when surface flows are the greatest.

This allows planning of withdrawals to avoid potential degradation to municipal
drinking water supplies, riparian or aquatic communities.

In Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas, an oil and gas operator is building a 500-ft
impoundment to store water from the Little Red River obtained during high flow
periods when excess water is available.

This project is allowed to capture 1,550 acre-ft of water annually.

This operator has also built extra pipelines and hydrants to rural communities to provide water
for fire protection.

* 1 acre-ft is equivalent to the volume of water used to cover one acre with one foot of water

Greener Technologies: Capturing
Methane Emissions

Plunger Lift Systems

These systems remove fluids that accumulate in a well and can cause problems in
gas production. The lift system uses a free piston to minimize the amount of liquid
to fallback and the well’s energy is used more efficiently.

The natural gas and condensate recovered is processed in a portable equipment to
be sold.

Weatherford: A company that provides plunger lift systems.

Green Completions

A rule enforced by the EPA starting with hydraulically fractured and
refractured gas wells from January 1, 2015.

The rule requires green completions.

Green completions: VOCs, methane, and fracking fluid returning from well.

Requirements for this rule include switching to low-bleed pneumatic devices
from high-bleed devices and the installation of emission control systems.