Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) required to keep cars moving?

The fossil fuel system is beginning to run into a supply crunch.  Report after report shows that the conventional liquid fuels and conventional natural gas has entered a decline in global supply.  That would mean we'd see supply problems at gas stations, that is if the oil and gas companies weren't using hydraulic fracturing to create additional sources of fossil fuel supply.

ProPublica has an interesting chart of the history of government involvement with hydraulic fracturing and in general using technology to attempt to create unconventional fossil fuel supplies.  (see link at the bottom)  It demonstrates just how long the U.S. government has been supporting research into not only hydraulic fracturing but other methods to cause unconventional fossil fuel supplies to exist.

Some things standing out in the chart are:-

In 1969 the government detonated a 43 kiloton nuclear bomb underground to access natural gas deposits in Colorado.  The natural gas was too radioactive to be usable.  Doh!  http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/stories/legacy-of-nuclear-drilling-site-in-colorado-still-lingers

1985-1989: The Eastern Gas Shales focused on developing scientific and engineering knowledge in the Dept of Energy Unconventional Gas Recovery project.  The knowledge they looked to develop is that required to tap natural gas from shale formations in Appalachia, Illinois and Michigan.  The formation in Appalachia is what we now know as the Marcellus Shale formation.    http://www.fischer-tropsch.org/DOE/_conf_proc/MISC/Conf-89_6103/doe_metc-89_6103-2A.pdf

In August 2005 Congress passed a law preventing the EPA from regulating the chemicals in fracking fluid under their authority to regulate drinking water.  http://www.propublica.org/article/natural-gas-politics-526

Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas & Other Petroleum Resources Program Consortium project launched in October 2005 inside the Dept of Energy to maximize the value of indigenous U.S. natural gas and other petroleum resources with a focus on near-to-mid-term results.  http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/Petroleum/projects/EP/Explor_Tech/42677RPSEA.html

It goes on and on .. the U.S. Government involvement in research into hydraulic fracturing.


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