Aunt Edna has questions about the fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Specifically, which chemicals are being used and why?
To help in this discussion, we developed an infographic that names some of the commonly used chemicals, explains their role in the fracking process, and lists other places you might find these chemicals in everyday life.
Please note that this infographic does not represent an exhaustive list of the chemicals that could be used in a hydraulic fracturing fluid. Instead, it offers a shareable snapshot of a few that are commonly used. For a more exhaustive list, please click here.
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Here are additional points that might help you in this discussion:
- Chemicals are only a small part of the mixture used in hydraulic fracturing
The solution used in fracking is generally about 99% water and sand. The sand is used to prop open the tiny hairline cracks created thousands of feet underground by the fracking process. These fractures allow oil and natural gas to flow up the wellbore. The remaining 1% of the solution is made up of chemicals.
- Our industry discloses these chemicals
If you take a look at the back of a bottle of tile cleaner, you’ll see a list of the chemicals used in the fluid. The same type of transparency is employed in the oil and gas industry. The chemicals used in the fracking of each well are listed at FracFocus.org. FracFocus serves as an official state chemical disclosure system for some of the states that require companies to disclose the chemicals they use in the hydraulic fracturing process.
- How chemicals are handled is critical
At home, you likely keep household cleaners stored under your kitchen sink and away from your children. In the oil and gas industry, we also take special precautions with the chemicals we use. Wells are built with layers of cement and steel to ensure that the hydraulic fracturing fluid doesn’t come in contact with drinking water. You can read more about that here – Aunt Edna: Groundwater Protection
Spread the word
- If you’ve been asked questions about chemical use in fracking, share this infographic—click here to get started.
- Proactively engage in discussions about oil and natural gas development, and encourage questions. If there are questions you have trouble answering, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Answering Aunt Edna’ is a recurring series that is designed to help CAN members answer tough questions from their friends, family and neighbors.