David W Wright Nolon King Biography & Facts
Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, fracing, hydrofracking, fraccing, frac'ing, and hydrofracturing, is a well stimulation technique involving the fracturing of bedrock formations by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of "fracking fluid" (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open.Hydraulic fracturing began as an experiment in 1947, and the first commercially successful application followed in 1950. As of 2012, 2.5 million "frac jobs" had been performed worldwide on oil and gas wells, over one million of those within the U.S. Such treatment is generally necessary to achieve adequate flow rates in shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas wells. Some hydraulic fractures can form naturally in certain veins or dikes. Drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made the United States a major crude oil exporter as of 2019, but leakage of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has dramatically increased. Increased oil and gas production from the decade-long fracking boom has led to lower prices for consumers, with near-record lows of the share of household income going to energy expenditures.Hydraulic fracturing is highly controversial. Its proponents advocate the economic benefits of more extensively accessible hydrocarbons, as well as replacing coal with natural gas, which burns more cleanly and emits less carbon dioxide (CO2). Opponents of fracking argue that these are outweighed by the environmental impacts, which include groundwater and surface water contamination, noise and air pollution, and the triggering of earthquakes, along with the resulting hazards to public health and the environment. Research has determined that human health is affected, including confirmation of chemical, physical, and psychosocial hazards such as pregnancy and birth outcomes, migraine headaches, chronic rhinosinusitis, severe fatigue, asthma exacerbations and psychological stress. Groundwater contamination has been documented. Adherence to regulation and safety procedures are required to avoid further negative impacts.There is considerable uncertainty about the scale of methane leakage associated with hydraulic fracturing, and even some evidence that leakage may cancel out the greenhouse gas emissions benefits of natural gas relative to other fossil fuels. For example, a report by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) highlights this issue, focusing on the leakage rate in Pennsylvania during extensive testing and analysis was found to be approximately 10%, or over five times the reported figures. This leakage rate is considered representative of the hydraulic fracturing industry in the US generally. EDF has recently announced a satellite mission to further locate and measure methane emissions.Increases in seismic activity following hydraulic fracturing along dormant or previously unknown faults are sometimes caused by the deep-injection disposal of hydraulic fracturing flowback (a byproduct of hydraulically fractured wells), and produced formation brine (a byproduct of both fractured and nonfractured oil and gas wells). For these reasons, hydraulic fracturing is under international scrutiny, restricted in some countries, and banned altogether in others. The European Union is drafting regulations that would permit the controlled application of hydraulic fracturing.
Fracturing rocks at great depth frequently becomes suppressed by pressure due to the weight of the overlying rock strata and the cementation of the formation. This suppression process is particularly significant in "tensile" (Mode 1) fractures which require the walls of the fracture to move against this pressure. Fracturing occurs when effective stress is overcome by the pressure of fluids within the rock. The minimum principal stress becomes tensile and exceeds the tensile strength of the material. Fractures formed in this way are generally oriented in a plane perpendicular to the minimum principal stress, and for this reason, hydraulic fractures in well bores can be used to determine the orientation of stresses. In natural examples, such as dikes or vein-filled fractures, the orientations can be used to infer past states of stress.
Most mineral vein systems are a result of repeated natural fracturing during periods of relatively high pore fluid pressure. The impact of high pore fluid pressure on the formation process of mineral vein systems is particularly evident in "crack-seal" veins, where the vein material is part of a series of discrete fracturing events, and extra vein material is deposited on each occasion. One example of long-term repeated natural fracturing is in the effects of seismic activity. Stress levels rise and fall episodically, and earthquakes can cause large volumes of connate water to be expelled from fluid-filled fractures. This process is referred to as "seismic pumping".
Minor intrusions in the upper part of the crust, such as dikes, propagate in the form of fluid-filled cracks. In such cases, the fluid is magma. In sedimentary rocks with a significant water content, fluid at fracture tip will be steam.
Fracturing as a method to stimulate shallow, hard rock oil wells dates back to the 1860s. Dynamite or nitroglycerin detonations were used to increase oil and natural gas production from petroleum bearing formations. On 24 April 1865, US Civil War veteran Col. Edward A. L. Roberts received a patent for an "exploding torpedo". It was employed in Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, and West Virginia using liquid and also, later, solidified nitroglycerin. Later still the same method was applied to water and gas wells. Stimulation of wells with acid, instead of explosive fluids, was introduced in the 1930s. Due to acid etching, fractures would not close completely resulting in further productivity increase.
20th century applications
Harold Hamm, Aubrey McClendon, Tom Ward and George P. Mitchell are each considered to have pioneered hydraulic fracturing innovations toward practical applications.
Oil and gas wells
The relationship between well performance and treatment pressures was studied by Floyd Farris of Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation. This study was the basis of the first hydraulic fracturing experiment, conducted in 1947 at the Hugoton gas field in Grant County of southwestern Kansas by Stanolind. For the well treatment, 1,000 US gallons (3,800 l; 830 imp gal) of gelled gasoline (essentially napalm) and sand from the Arkansas River was injected into the gas-producing limestone formation at 2,400 feet (730 m). The experiment was not very successful as deliverability of.... Discover the David W Wright Nolon King popular books. Find the top 100 most popular David W Wright Nolon King books.