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Fracking, the Music Video

Investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica along with students from New York University have come out with a music video on hydraulic fracturing, more commonly called fracking. Fracking, invented by Halliburton (NYSE: HAL  ) in the 1940s, is a process of fracturing rocks with water, sand, and other additives to increase the recovery of oil and gas.

Fracking has become controversial in more ways than one. Companies have not been disclosing the chemicals used in fracking fluids. This is controversial because many believe that fracking fluids then make it into the water supply, poisoning the water. Also, some studies now show that fracking is not emission free as previously thought.

Because of these findings, the government and concerned citizens have been taking action. Fracking resolutions have been finding their way onto the proxies of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN  ) among others. In September 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency requested information on the chemicals used by nine companies, including Complete Production Services (NYSE: CPX  ) , Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT  ) , and Patterson-UTI Energy (Nasdaq: PTEN  ) .

Now, students from NYU and ProPublica have come out with a music video to make the case for more protections of U.S. drinking water. Enjoy.

Follow Dan Dzombak on Twitter at @DanDzombak to check out his musings and see what articles he finds interesting.

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Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (7)

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  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2011, at 4:48 PM, trin6810 wrote:

    From the start - excempt themselves from every important envirormental law from the past 40 years - creating a massive public health problem because they can't clean up after themselves - refuse to this day to reveal chemicals they use - the process is flawed - and beginning to catch up with them -

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2011, at 3:22 PM, dawn711 wrote:

    I agree that all forms of industrial activity should adhere to sound operational and environmental practices and regulations. However, people speaking for or against anything should also ensure they have done their due diligence and fully understand the process prior to making any statement.

    I would like to point out a number of technical faults in the video.

    Fracking is not a form of natural gas drilling. It is a stimulation treatment meant to enhance the production from the reservoir. It is used in both oil and gas reservoirs.

    Saying drillers make a killing is inflamatory and not necessarily true. Oil companies just like any other corporation are in business to make profits. that is how the economy expands and stock prices increase.

    While the potential to contaminate ground water does exist it may not be caused soley by the fracturing process. When wells are drilled steel casing is installed to provide a conduit, This is cemented in place with specialized oilfield cementing materials. The cement is meant to provide hydraulic isolation between the casing and the numerous reservoirs penetrated during the drilling process. If this cement fails it can provide a path for fluids and gases from deep high pressure zones to migrate to shallower formations.

    A variety of chemicals are used to formulate the fluids used for the fracture stimulation process. Many of these chemicals are the same as those used in common household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides and foodproducts.

    Methane is a greenhouse gas worse than Carbon Dioxide. However, it is not intentionally released as part of any drilling, workover or completion process.

    I agree that everything should be done to ensure the safest possible industrial process in every industry. If one where to take an objective look at the oil industry you will find that on par with any industry it has as good or better record. Much has been done over the years to clean up the process and move towards safer and more envirnmentally friendly products and methods. Ultimately this proves ot be more cost effective as well.

    Bottom line, as long as the American public demand cheap energy and continue to consume it with a varocious appetite we are either going to have to live with the oil industry in our back yard or continue to finance the expansion of less savoury parts of the world.

    Niether destroying the domestic industry or the environment will serve the people in the long run.

    It's your call.

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2011, at 3:33 PM, dawn711 wrote:

    Yes, by the way.

    Equipment used in the industry is governed by the same emissions legislation as a farm tractor.

    I can get a material safety data sheet on any substance used in the oil industry which states the chemical makeup and toxicity levels.

    What public health problem would that be clean natural gas to heat your home instead of coal or wood? Smoking and drinking cause more directily related deaths per year than the oil industry.

    I've been on wellsites where the only post drill evidence that a gas well has been drilled is a wellhead in the middle of a farmers crop.

    I'd say we have done a good job of catching up.

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