Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing

Notes from Hydraulic Fracturing Process

  • Hydraulic Fracturing
    • produces fractures in rock formations to stimulate flow of natural gas or oil
    • increases volumes that can be recovered
  • Process
    • pump large quantities of fluids at high pressure down a wellbore into target rock formation
    • commonly consists of
      • water
      • proppant (sand, ceramic pellets)
      • chemical additives 
  • Use
    • internal pressure of rock formation causes fluid to return to surface through wellbore called flowback
    • contains injected chemicals and other natural minerals, stored on site
    • many times injected underground for disposal
  • Used many times for "Unconventional" gas production
    • relatively new technology
    • Shale Gas extraction
      • Shale rock formations important source
      • present in many locations in the united states
    • Tight Sands
      • gas bearing fine grained sandstones or carbonates
      • hydraulic fracturing is a required process here

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