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Edmon Low Library

Government Information: Hydraulic Fracturing

Overview

The immense growth in Oklahoma and our nation of enhanced natural gas and oil recovery via the process popularly known as “fracking,” and more precisely known as “Hydraulic Fracturing,” has created an economic boom. “Shale oil” and “Shale gas” is trapped within shale formations; injecting combinations of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure causes the shale to crack which then releases the gas or oil. But mismanaged fracking can also release hazardous chemicals into drinking water and air, and also cause small earthquakes. Here are some links to information about fracking in general and its potential adverse health effects.

Resources

Natural Gas Extraction - Hydraulic Fracturing
http://www2.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Basic Information About Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas and Oil
http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/wells_hydrowhat.cfm
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Website updated on May 9, 2012

Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Water Drinking Act (See also What is Hydraulic Fracturing?)
http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/hydraulic-fracturing.cfm
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Basic Information About Shale Gas
Includes a chart that shows the current and projected future growth of shale gas production from about 2005 through 2040. EIA estimates that there will be a 44% increase in fracking.
http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/about_shale_gas.cfm?src=email
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. Website updated on December 5, 2012

Map of “Lower 48” State Shale “Plays” (a “play” is the name for a formation that contains trapped natural gas)
http://www.eia.gov/oil_gas/rpd/shale_gas.pdf
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. May 9, 2011. 

OIL AND GAS: Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks
Recommended for its technical explanations of fracking. 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-732
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office. September 5, 2012

UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT: Key Environmental and Public Health Requirements
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-874
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office. September 5, 2012

Emerging Oil & Gas Supplies: Future Prospects for Oil & Gas Production (Includes charts and graphs about fracking)
http://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/staub_06272012.pdf
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. June 27, 2012

Chemicals Used In Hydraulic Fracturing
http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Hydraulic-Fracturing-Chemicals-2011-4-18.pdf
Source: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. April 2011