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The importance and necessity of hydraulic fracturing

2020-05-27 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Report范文


下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文-The importance and necessity of hydraulic fracturing。本文讲述从七十年代开始,美国发现自己的国家蕴藏着大量的天然气,大约750万亿肘英尺。这些天然气深埋在地下页岩中,在美国许多州也有大量储量。在过去的十年中,钻井技术获得了巨大的进步。一种叫做水力压裂的技术只是用来开采这种天然气。此外,它已在十年内在美国得到大规模推广。但是,一些美国人担心水力压裂会污染水源,进而威胁当地的生态环境和居民的健康。他们还认为,这将对环境造成极大的危害,包括自来水的自燃和小地震等。因此应停止水力压裂。实际上,这些关于水力压裂的观点具有一定的偏见,也缺乏研究和准确性。因此,本文旨在讨论并证明水力压裂的重要性和必要性。     


The importance and necessity of hydraulic fracturing


Since the seventies, America has found that its own country contains a large quantity of natural gases which are about 750 trillion cubit feet. Those natural gases are deep in the underground shale and also have large reserves in many states in America. Over the past decade, the drilling technique obtains great improvement. One kind of techniques called hydraulic fracturing is just used to exploit this kind of natural gases. Besides, it has been promoted on a large scale within ten years in America. However, some Americans are worrying that hydraulic fracturing would pollute water source and then threaten local ecological environment and residents’ health. They also hold that it will bring great harm to environment including spontaneous combustion of tap water and small earthquakes etc. Thus hydraulic fracturing should be stopped. As a matter of fact, these viewpoints on hydraulic fracturing have certain prejudice and are also lack of investigation and accuracy. Hence this paper aims to discuss and prove the importance and necessity of hydraulic fracturing.


Here, there is a need to demonstrate what hydraulic fracturing is and its history because this can help to know it more comprehensively. As for hydraulic fracturing, it refers to mix a good deal of water and sand with chemicals into the underground so as to crack the shale and then release natural gases (Vengosh, Jackson, and Darrah 863-866). At present, this technique is the main form of exploiting natural gases. In the beginning, hydraulic fracturing was used to transform old wells and improve recovery efficiency. But along with the appearance of the horizontal well technique, hydraulic fracturing begins to be applied to exploit shale oil and gas massively. Beyond all question, hydraulic fracturing stems from America which extremely advocates adventure spirit. As early as the year of 1821, the first well exploited by American industrialization is just the shale well. So hydraulic fracturing goes with the development of American oil and gas industry from the beginning. Later, the soaring price of natural gases from 2003 to 2008 lets hydraulic fracturing and shale gas enter the public view truly (Ajao, Dalamarinis, and Economides 34-41). Meanwhile, many countries gradually realize that hydraulic fracturing and shale gas is the magic weapon to solve energy problems and reduce energy external dependence.


Next, it will discuss and prove the importance and necessity of hydraulic fracturing mainly from six aspects. First of all, hydraulic fracturing brings the energy independence to America. Crude output in U.S. hit a 20-year new peak in 2012 and meanwhile energy external dependency reduced to less than 30% (Vengosh, Jackson, and Darrah 863-866). Thus the benefit brought by energy independence is tangible. All of these are due to the use of hydraulic fracturing. From the level of global strategy, America finally, after 30 years, has the condition to get away from the Middle East. In 2012, America strategic planning explicitly regarded Asia Pacific as the strategic core and revealed that it would no longer spend a lot of energy maintaining the smooth and steady situation in the Middle East. In recent 3 years, whether it is Tunisian revolution, the Syrian civil strife, Iranian nuclear crisis or Israeli-Palestinian conflict, America could always silently observe the embarrassment of attending to one thing and losing another of Europe and Russia without haste (Holditch 91-107). In addition, through oil and gas resources, America successfully promotes the centripetal force of Japan, South Korea and Europe. For example, in 2012, Obama repeatedly hinted that America would possibly export natural gases to Japan. Later on, two Japanese prime ministers tried their best to fight for American gas exports, which was one of Japanese important diplomatic goals as well. In order to achieve this goal, they had to accept the blackmail from America in many problems. But, even to this day, America is still ambiguous in the problem of gas exports (Holditch 91-107). As a result, it can be seen clearly that hydraulic fracturing brings America the energy independence and meanwhile reduces its dependence on energy supplier. So it has more autonomous right and initiative in the energy question.     


Secondly, cheap oil and gas prices caused by hydraulic fracturing bring more support to American economy. Through hydraulic fracturing, America can get large amounts of oil and gas, which accordingly makes their price cheap. In 2013, the prices of U.S. crude oil and natural gases are respectively 70% and 20% lower than those in global average. It’s estimated that just cheap price of natural gases could bring about the material benefit of $100 billion to America every year, let alone the resources plunder to Canada through low oil prices (Holahan and Arnold 127-134). Besides, in the past two years, cheap energy has attracted many energy intensive industries to return the United States. Those industries are involved in aspects of chemical engineering, rubber and chemical fertilizer etc. America also spares no effort to market this advantage on a global scale. Since the start of 2013, Gary Locke, the American Ambassador to China, has constantly emphasized the investment opportunities brought by low energy prices in the United States. What is more, the rapid growth of oil and gas production provides new ways of financial breakthrough for Obama. During his second-term financial planning, the oil and gas industry would offer the new resource of $300 billion for the U.S. government fiscal revenue (Ajao, Dalamarinis, and Economides 34-41). Although at present, this planning encounters the consistent opposition from the oil and gas industry and the Republican Party, the development of shale oil and gas would still provide new possibilities for America to get rid of the perennial fiscal deficits. All of these should be due to the use of hydraulic fracturing. As a result, its importance is imaginable.   


Thirdly, the energy offered by hydraulic fracturing is not just relatively clean and cheap, but also will reduce the dependence on energy with severe pollution such as coal and oil. Now, there are debates about the preferred fuel for satisfying American electricity demand in the future. America has a nickname called Saudi Arabia having coals. This is because it owns a great number of coal reserves. For instance, about 60% of electric power in Michigan comes from coal-fired power plants (Holditch 91-107). The employ of coals are more and more attacked by environmental groups. They think that the emission of coal-fired power plants would give rise to global warming and do damage to the environment. But if people want to reduce the use of coals, then certain reliable alternative energy sources must appear to support the American economy. The maintenance of nuclear energy in nuclear power plants may be a kind of the preferred energy. However, it needs too high input which reaches billions of dollars. Moreover, construction licenses would often be postponed for several decades, or even longer. Thus this is the main obstacle for its replacement with coal-fired power plants. On the other hand, as alternative energy sources, non-conventional energy resources such as wind energy, solar energy and biomass energy have also been advocated. But those ways just provide a little energy (Rahm 174-281). Even their amount will increase in the future, the loss of coals, as preferred energy generation, can’t be made up.


As a result, based on the above analysis, it is the most likely that natural gases would replace coals to work as power generation fuels. North America has sufficient natural gas reserves (Ajao, Dalamarinis, and Economides 34-41). The recent estimation shows that natural gas reserves are enough to supply American energy demand in this century. According to the statistics from Energy Information Administration, in 2009, 12% of natural gases consumed by America are imported. This is the lowest proportion since the 1990's (Zyadin, Halder, and Puhakka 82-88). Furthermore, from the view of national security, natural gases have certain significant advantages. Because they are just stored in North America, there is no need to import them from countries which may be unfriendly to America. Besides, using natural gases to generate electricity is very good for environment because the carbon dioxide released by them is one third less than that released by coals (Holditch 91-107). And the key to the development of gas fields lies in the use of hydraulic fracturing. So, in a word, the natural gases offered by hydraulic fracturing play a very important role in the future energy supply. They are safe enough and have ability to occupy larger proportion within American energy structure. Then it is a thorough choice to replace coals with natural gases offered by hydraulic fracturing.


Fourthly, hydraulic fracturing could maintain social stability. Next it will give a practical and specific example to account for this point. In January 2014, the impact of polar vortex broke American low temperature records, brought snowstorm and meanwhile made American natural gas supply experience a wild week (Zyadin, Halder, and Puhakka 82-88). Based on this situation, residents and power plants tried to burn natural gases to withstand the chilliness, so the whole demand for natural gas in America hit a record 125 billion cubic feet. On the other hand, this unprecedented and large demand also made the supply of American northeast regions scarce. Thus relatively the price of natural gases in New York rose to 100 dollars/mmBTU. Just one week ago, their spot price was just about 4.25 dollars/mmBTU. The disparity of these two sets of data was very great. If relevant departments did not take timely action to control the price of natural gases effectively, social stability would be seriously influenced. At this time, related institutions stated that there was no need to be flustered because this week, the daily output of natural gases in America was about 6.4 billion cubic feet which increased by 20%, compared to the same period last year (Linkov 14-23). Hence in no time, the supply of natural gases would keep pace with the practical demand and then the related price would also be well controlled. And so it did. Here, it can be said that all of these should owe to hydraulic fracturing. This is because without it, natural gas production would not get increase and then the supply of natural gases would not catch up with the practical demand as well. As a result,hydraulic fracturing could assist American natural gas supply to survive the cold winter and then guarantee its social stability.  


Fifthly,hydraulic fracturing is a very extremely flexible technique instead of a rigid one. For instance, in Gulf of Mexico, building a drilling platform of natural gases may cost a few years' time. However, hydraulic fracturing could sink a well just in a few weeks and then begin to extract natural gases (Zyadin, Halder, and Puhakka 82-88). If the price of natural gases rises, more wells will spring up. And if the price of natural gases falls, those wells will be left unused. Thus theoretically, hydraulic fracturing could make the impact of natural gases not so strong in the future. This is because of the flexible characteristic of hydraulic fracturing; U.S. producers of natural gases could react quickly according to the practical situation.


Finally, hydraulic fracturing would bring no pollution as long as natural gas wells are constructed properly (Struchtemeyer 15-21). Just as said before, some Americans claim that hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling have led to certain pollution to their headwaters and influenced their life quality. However, all of these statements are lack of investigation so that they are inaccurate and groundless. Certain specialists point out that the real problem lies in how to appropriately build natural gas wells. That is to say, much pollution is brought by improper use of natural gas wells instead of hydraulic fracturing. As a result, if natural gas wells are built appropriately, hydraulic fracturing will be safe and pollution-free.


In conclusion, the above detailed discussion and presentation distinctly reveals that hydraulic fracturing indeed plays a significant role in today’s exploitation of natural gases. As long as natural gas wells are constructed properly, hydraulic fracturing would not bring pollution and influence people’s life quality. Meanwhile it can make America obtain energy independence and have the initiative in hands. Cheap oil and gas prices aroused by hydraulic fracturing bring more support to American economy. Besides, it could reduce the dependence on energy with severe pollution such as coal and oil and then protect environment. And hydraulic fracturing can maintain social stability as well. What’s more, it is very flexible. As a result, under strict supervision of related departments, hydraulic fracturing should be advocated at full blast.       







Works Cited

Ajao, Omobola, Dalamarinis, Panagiotis, and Economides Michael. “Case studies for the fracturing of highly diverse gas reservoirs.” Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 14 (2013): 34-41.

Holahan, Robert, and Arnold Gwen. “An institutional theory of hydraulic fracturing policy.” Ecological Economics, 94 (2013): 127-134.

Holditch, Stephen. “Economic and physical optimization of hydraulic fracturing.” Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 14 (2013): 91-107.

Linkov, Aleksandr. “On comparison of thinning fluids used for hydraulic fracturing.”

International Journal of Engineering Science, 77 (2014): 14-23.

Rahm, Dianne. “Regulating hydraulic fracturing in shale gas plays: The case of Texas.” Energy Policy, 39.5 (2011): 2974-2981.

Struchtemeyer, Christopher. “A critical assessment of the efficacy of biocides used during the hydraulic fracturing process in shale natural gas wells.” International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 71 (2012): 15-21.

Vengosh, Avner, Jackson, Rob, and Darrah Tom. “The Effects of Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing on the Quality of Water Resources in the United States.” Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7 (2013): 863-866.

Zyadin, Anas, Halder, Pradipta, and Puhakka Antero. “Challenges to renewable energy: A bulletin of perceptions from international academic arena.” Renewable Energy, 69 (2014): 82-88.





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