Should or should we not pursue – HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

There is a current global controversy on whether we should pursue ‘fracking’ practices. Much of the opposition voice revolves around the fact that “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing  is a “stubborn” method of extraction, and that there is limited control in the process to prevent contamination of ground water sources – should (and likely would) process water be leaked into the surrounding formation.

From a technical standpoint, the efforts that go towards a fracking operation is as elegant as the industry would have it be. At the same time, its is understandable the process is perceived by the public as unrefined and, like all other extraction methods – is based on our relatively limited understanding of the science and mechanics of what lies below the ground (or sea for that matter).

The fact remains however – there has been long standing consideration and momentum invested by the Oil & Gas majors to address the impending end of traditional crude oil, and it is important to note that the collective decision to pursue fracking was taken on the back of alternative solutions to address the world’s energy problem.

With that in mind, it may be an less than effective strategy for proponents to stand against fracking  by arguing on the primitiveness of the extraction process itself, considering that so much thought and investment has already put into by the oil & gas majors. If this must be a tactical focus, efforts would be better made – exerting public pressure for greater collaboration and understudying between the industry and the associated sciences. This would also precipitate greater understanding and improvement of other resource extraction techniques.

Above all, and perhaps the more important question is – whether as a world we are able to wane ourselves from fossil fuels in order to be able to stop the momentum for the pursuit of alternative sources of gas.

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