HISTORY OF FRACKING
The first experiment in fracking was in the Hugoton gas field in Grant County, Kansas by Stanolind Oil in 1949. One thousand gallons of napalm-thickened gasoline was injected, followed by a gel breaker, to frack limestone at 2,400 ft.
Wider use of fracking didn't begin until the mid-1970s. Up to the early 2000s, most fracking was on vertical gas wells with only one or two fracks. With commercialization of the Barnett Shale in Texas, horizontal drilling was used for the first time on a wide scale and pumping pressures and operating times increased.
Fracking boomed after the Energy Policy Act in 2005 exempted it from compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air and the Clean Water Act. Also, the CERCLA Superfund Act doesn't cover fracking sites.
Regulation was then left up to the States and has been piecemeal. This has allowed the energy industry to keep the chemicals used in fracking fluids secret.
The new fracking that has gained so much attention in the last few years is different in many ways from historic fracking:
1) the pressure used is much higher and the duration of the frack job is longer.
2) much more water is used for a longer time period.
3) fracking was combined with horizontal drilling.
4) fracking chemical mixtures became more complex.
Approximately 95% of new oil and gas wells in Colorado use hydraulic fracturing. Close to 2.5 million fracture treatments have been performed worldwide.
The Health Implications of Hydrofracking, Upstate Medical University Public Health Symposium http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/site/view/892
How fracking is harmful
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