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Shale Gas: The Facts About Chemical Additives
North America is undergoing a boom associated with the production of natural gas from dense shale rock formations. Natural gas is an efficient energy source and the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. The natural gas extracted from shale rock could become a significant global energy source.1
Although the energy industry has long known about huge gas resources trapped in shale rock formations, particularly in the United States, it is only over the last decade that energy companies have combined two established technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—to unlock this resource.
This article will focus on the technique of hydraulic fracturing and in particular the common chemical additives used to support this technique. It is not a comprehensive review of all the chemicals and chemistries involved; readers interested in further information can refer to the footnotes.
There is currently a great deal of controversy associated with these chemical treatments. This article will provide some facts about the chemicals and chemistries used from a technical and environmental impact point of view...
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by Dr. Henry Craddock, Independent Oilfield Chemistry Consultant