Hydraulic Fracturing FAQs

Don't we have the technology to make fracking safe?

Nope, no technology currently exists to make fracking safe. Here are some of the numbers released by drilling giants Schlumberger, Archer Oil & Gas, Southwestern Energy, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers:

- Around 5% of oil and gas wells leak immediately and up to 60% of them fail over a 30-year time period.

- According to multiple studies, about 35% of all oil and gas wells are leaking now.

These industry reports support similar findings from state agencies, like the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Some recent modifications to cementing regulations misguidedly include requirements on cement strength. But it is not a question of stronger cement or better technology. Industry's own documents say that:

"strength is not the major issue in oil well cementing under any circumstances … cement clearly cannot resist the shear that is the most common reason for oil well distortion and rupture during active production."

In other words, the high stresses and rock movements deep underground will cause a significant proportion of wells to fail no matter what.

Next Question: How deep do natural gas wells go?

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