Τετάρτη, 12 Μαρτίου 2014

Using sand for fracking: pros and cons

Disputes about pros and cons of fracking are still going on in the US, especially in Midwestern states. Although there are no fracking facilities in some Midwestern states, these states are now experiencing a big increase of the sand mining industry. The reason is that the process of fracking needs large amounts of sand.
The Christian Science Monitor describes the process as follows: “To extract the sand, mining companies scrape away the soil, break up the sandstone with explosives, and then crush it. The raw sand is washed, sorted by size, and shipped by truck, rail, and barge to fracking operations in the US and Canada. There the sand is mixed with water and chemicals and pumped underground, where the particles lodge in cracks and prop them open while gas or oil flows out.”


Oil and gas companies need the sand used in fracking operations to hold open cracks in shale rock. In Ohio, that rock is usually the Utica formation. In West Virginia and Pennsylvania, it’s the Marcellus shale.

Much of that sand is ripe for mining in upper Midwestern states such as Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and especially Wisconsin.

Sand has long been used in various branches of industry in these states, but it has never been taken in such large amounts until the fracking method started to be used for extracting oil in gas in this area four years ago.

Local residents have various opinions about that. Some are claiming that the industry is ruining the once-idyllic land.

“Since 2012, Wisconsin has found nearly two dozen sand-mining operations in violation of air and water pollution rules,” an article in the Christian Science Monitor says.

Voice of Russia, bizjournals.com

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_12/Using-sand-for-fracking-pros-and-cons-3382/
12/3/14
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