All Fracked Up
Kyle Hicks, Matt Gnegy, Robert Simmons and
Christopher Coppock
What is fracking?
- Hydraulic fracturing is the process of
extracting natural gas or oil from shale rock
- While modern fracking got its start in the late
1940s, in last two decades technology has made
fracking the premiere method of accessing
natural gas.
How does fracking work?
- A natural gas well is drilled vertically, like a
standard well, to a depth of around 6,000 –
10,000 ft.
- Monitoring devices above the ground will
indicate when the wellbore has reached the
level of shale rock
- At that point, the drilling will turn horizontal
and the wellbore will parallel the shale
- The wellbore is then cased and
sealed with cement to prevent the
fracking fluids from leaking into the
- A perforating gun is then lowered
into the wellbore and an electrical
charge creates fractures in the
wellbore and surrounding
- Highly pressurized fracking fluid is then
pumped into the wellbore creating fractures
throughout the shale formation
- The fracking fluid is mostly water mixed with
sand but can be mixed with hundreds of
chemicals used to dissolve rocks or kill bacteria
in the water
- The liquid and gas is then pumped back to the
surface where they are mechanically separated
- The gas is then trucked to locations where it
is cleaned, purified and sold to distribution
West Coast Fracking
- Only viable in California and mostly oil
-15 billion barrels of crude oil potentially
in Monterey Shale
Baldwin Hills - CA
-1200 acre fracking site in Ingelwood California
-Population of 32,000 in a 3 square mile area
-5 miles from USC
-Has average between 2.5-3.1 million barrels of
oil for the past ten years
Study on Oil Field
-Year long study done by Daniel Tormey of
Cardno Entrix
-Study found that there are no effects on
groundwater or community health from
-Hard data only indicates residents within 1/2
mile are exposed to immediate health risks
- Very limited research on
long term risks/wider
Public Reaction
-The community has been critical of report and
question its legitimacy
-Claim that reviewers of study were tied to
closely with energy company
-No regulation of fracking in California
-Environmental group, Earth Justice, is suing
state regulators over this practice
-Hoping to force regulation on fracking
East Coast Fracking
- Marcellus Shale Deposits is utilized
- Largely gas shale
- Concentrated in Western Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, and Ohio.
- Major industry
Fracking Sites
Hopewell Township - PA
- 400k gallon wastewater holding tank
exploded in March 2010
- Company fined less than $100k by DEP for
contaminating an entire watershed
- Atlas had profits exceeding $150m
- Residents smelled gas in days prior to
- Unable to contact DEP to report smell
Hopewell Safety Violations
- 16p PDF documenting violations leading up to
- Ranging from:
- failure to contain erosion
- deliberate discharging of fuel into the
- spilling 500+ gallons of hydrochloric acid
onto the ground near a site
Atlas Holding Tank Explosion