Fracking Concerns - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Fracking Concerns

Posted: Updated:
Oil drilling and fracking concerns are spreading throughout Texoma tonight. With potential to spark an earthquake and pollute local water sources, Texomans should know the potential threats of oil fracking techniques.

Johnathan D. Price, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at MSU, said, "Hydraulic fracturing is used to introduce fractures in rocks to liberate oil and gas to make it pumpable for extraction." 

So once oil and gas are brought to the surface, the refining process can begin. This is when cars, power plants and transportation processes can use the finished product.

"But in doing so, you're bringing harsh materials up from the ground and introducing the risk of releasing those materials in to the environment," said Price.

The average depths of those wells are between eight and ten thousand feet below the surface. So, all the injections and all of the materials used to lubricate the machine are injected at great depths.

"Fracking is a water intensive process, so to do hydraulic fracking, you have to have a lot of water," said Price. "So that can be a concern in regions that are competing for water resources."

Price also said, "it could potentially contaminate ground water resources, for example. So of course this is a big concern you are perforating or putting that drill bit into the earth. So that can go near water systems. This is true for any oil and gas well. You have to do this to get to the rocks that contain oil and gas."  

There is some concern for the waste water that is taken from the wells. When fracking is complete, this water is not reusable.

"It's not anything that is to be put in to the environment, so it's injected deep into the earth," said Price. "Sometimes into depleted oil fields. And in doing that we may be lubricating some of this motion allowing these sub three earthquakes to propagate in places like central Oklahoma as a consequence of that.

Price said it wouldn't be the fracking causing the earthquakes, it's the waste water injection.

Brody Carter
Newschannel 6