Green Technology and Fraccing
Two tried and tested technologies have been combined, and are changing the landscape in terms of recoverable reserves. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are both decades old technologies, but are now seeing widespread use in unconventional plays. However, whilst the media is quick to highlight some of the historical issues with these processes, rarely does it discuss where new technology is taking them.Fraccing has become a catch-all phrase, both for opponents of the energy industry and within energy circles, for the “new” technology that has dramatically increased North American, as well as global, oil and gas reserves. It is often described as a crude mechanism for forcing rocks to be cracked, and depending on who you listen to, and what data you want to ignore or entertain, the potential cause of widespread drinking water pollution. However, after a decade of being refined and improved, “fraccing”, and all the oil service technology associated with it, is much greener than many would have you think. And the new technology being developed is continuing down this path. So could this be the conduit for improving the public persona of unconventional oil and gas?