Fracking and Fire Water

Fracking has allowed natural gas to be extracted from shale, which has resulted in cutting the price of natural gas by at least half, while also demonstrating that the United States has a 100-year supply of natural gas.

Extreme environmentalists are opposing fracking on the basis that fracking can contaminate water supplies.

Fracking usually takes place thousands of feet below the aquifer, with rock between where fracking takes place and the aquifer above it. Fracking injects water and chemicals under very high pressure to fracture the shale so that natural gas can flow from where it has been trapped to the drill pipe, and then inside the drill pipe to the surface, where it is contained, controlled and processed. (See article Fracking Risks and Benefits)

The movie Gasland has been shown in the United States and Europe and has been used to raise fears that fracking will contaminate drinking water.

One of the most dramatic scenes in the movie was where a homeowner lights the gas coming from the drinking water faucet. This picture of flaming natural gas coming from the water faucet was used to create the image that fracking allowed water to be contaminated by natural gas.

An investigative reporter, Phelim McAleer, was not convinced and sought additional factual information. His findings were reported in the September edition of Environment & Climate News.

McAleer found that there had been documented reports of natural gas in drinking water in 1976, and as far back as 1936.

This confirmed what people had been saying, which was that natural gas can invade water supplies naturally, and that this had been occurring long before fracking was an issue.

McAleer confronted the producer of Gasland, and asked him why there was no mention of natural gas having been found occurring naturally in drinking water in 1976 and, as it came out, as far back as 1936.

The exchange between McAleer and the producer can be seen in the video clip at:  

(I haven’t embedded this link because the website contains political information and I have no control over the content of the website beyond the clip.)

This information confirms that natural gas invades water systems naturally, and that there is no reason to blame fracking for natural gas in the water supply as shown in the movie, Gasland.

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