Fracking Quick Facts

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What is horizontal hydraulic fracturing?

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a means of extracting natural gas from deep shale formations. Once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are injected, under high pressure, into a well. The pressure fractures the shale and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

How deep do the wells go?

The average well is up to 8,000 feet deep vertically and another 1,000 to 6,000 feet horizontally.

How much water is used?

Between 1 and 8 million gallons of water is used per frack job, and each well can be fracked up to 18 times.

What chemicals are used?

Only 1% of frack fluid is comprised of chemicals, but that still amounts to about 7,500 gallons of chemicals per well. Because of the lack of regulation, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose chemicals used in the process but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

What is done with the liquid frack waste?

According to Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell engineering scientist, over the life of the well virtually all of the fluid comes back up. However, shortly after a well is fracked about 20% of the wastewater returns to the surface and is stored in steel tanks or lined pits. The wastewater is then transported to a new location and injected in a Class II injection well which are not rated to receive hazardous wastes, are only inspected in Ohio every 5 years, and are not monitored in Ohio for leakage or water contamination.

What is the Halliburton Loophole?

The 2005 Energy Bill, also known as the Halliburton Loophole, removed the rights of the EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing and exempted the process from important provisions of the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.

Will fracking affect my property value?

Some banks and insurance companies consider gas-leased properties an unacceptable risk. Loan companies have policies that deny mortgages on leased property and insurance companies are hesitant to insure leased parcels because accidents associated with oil and gas drilling usually put the blame on the landowner.

Should I be concerned about my health?

According to experts, 93% of chemicals used in the fracking process have known adverse health effects. 60% are known cancer-causing agents and 40% are endocrine disruptors. BTEX, or benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, are a few known chemicals used in fracking. Short term exposure effects of these chemicals include confusion, rapid pulse, anemia, damage to the nervous system and death.

See, a simple online graphic, for more.