Fracking fluids

This is a useful step in holding drilling companies accountable. They’ve refused to disclose what they use, claiming it was a “proprietary formula” that could be treated as a trade secret:

(Reuters) – The U.S. government will require natural gas drillers to disclose which chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, according to draft rules crafted by the Interior Department.

President Barack Obama pledged in the State of the Union address last week that the government would develop a road map for responsible natural gas production and roll out new rules to ensure drillers protect the environment.

Companies would be required to disclose the “complete chemical makeup of all materials used” in fracking fluids under the Interior Department’s draft rules, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

The industry objected to any rule that would force drillers to reveal the chemicals used in fracking, during which chemical-laced water and sand are blasted deep below ground to release oil and natural gas trapped within rock formations. Fracking has allowed companies to tap a wealth of new natural gas reserves but critics say the procedure has polluted water and air.

5 thoughts on “Fracking fluids

  1. It seems that this “fracking fluid” is a collection of toxic by-products created by the chemical companies during their manufacturing process. The chemical companies are required by the EPA to dispose of this “sludge” properly. Which is expensive. So the companies (big oil) decided to use these deadly compounds to recover natural gas. By injecting them thousands of feet into the ground they figured that nobody would be the wiser. And it eliminated their costly disposal problem. “Better living through chemistry.”

  2. Everyone realizes its not the oil companies that hold the proprietary patents, it’s the service companies selling them the frac fluid.

    Other than water & sand, EVERY compounds added is there for a purpose. Soaps are added to reduce the pressure needed to displace the fluid, Gelling agents are added to increase the ability of the water to carry the sand to the fracture and bactericides are added to prevent bacteria from growing and plugging everything up.

    To assume the chemicals used are the sludge by-products of the mad chemists doesn’t make any sense when the idea is to increase gas & oil production, not to plug off everything so nothing will flow.

    If we, as a society, hadn’t decided that we liked to control our environment & race all around the world in a matter of hours instead of years, we wouldn’t have spent so much time & effort in trying got figure out how to produce the fossil fuels in the first place.

    Simple supply & demand. If there wasn’t a demand, there would be no supply.

  3. Nick, we as a society didn’t decide anything concerning what would propel our modes of transportation. Actually you’ve got everything (Capitalism) a little backwards. In most cases somebody invents something and then builds a demand for it. Take Steve Jobs. Nobody was demanding anything that he invented. Jobs created the demand out of whole cloth. Then there’s gasoline. Gasoline was a by-product in the manufacture of kerosene. What to do with all that gasoline? Let’s start the auto industry. Nobody was demanding an automobile to drive around in. Capitalism creates these Fankenstein monsters. When “we the people” demand that they be killed off the 1% pushes back real hard because it stops their flow of rancid money. Democracy? Hardly.

  4. I think your thesis is right on target,Imhotep. Does anyone of us in the general population have a particular ‘demand’ for a new and improved Iphone? What else do we ‘desire’ from the microchip?

    The 1% will answer those questions, and very soon we’ll see hordes of folks camping out at Best Buy—or any number of retailers—to be the first on the block to own “the next best thing” in computer technology. Thus, the demand is created.

  5. Take Steve Jobs. Nobody was demanding anything that he invented. Jobs created the demand out of whole cloth.
    . . . . . . . . . .
    Does anyone of us in the general population have a particular ‘demand’ for a new and improved Iphone?

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Neil Young has recently revealed that Steve Jobs (Satan rest his soul) did not listen to iTunes at home.
    He preferred vinyl LPs.
    A secret, guilty, hypocritical pleasure?
    Young was trying to convince him to improve the lousy fidelity of iTunes, but Jobs refused.

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