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Fracking chemicals

Fracking chemicals

C016/8134

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Credit

BILL CUNNINGHAM / US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BILL CUNNINGHAM / US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fracking chemicals. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a drilling technique used to extract gas from shale deposits. A mixture of sand, chemicals and water is pumped under high pressure from the surface to underground horizontal wells. The pressure forms fissures (fractures) in the shale. The sand keeps the fissures open, allowing gas to flow into the well and rise to the surface. The chemicals used in this process perform tasks like lubricating the pipes, preventing the mixture from coagulating, and helping the sand keep the fractures open. These chemicals are being used during exploratory drilling on the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, USA.

Release details

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