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Index > United States of America > George Mitchell > History of Fracking

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"Father of Fracking"
George Mitchell
concerns over environmental
impacts of fracking

History of Fracking
Only a new technology

USA Fracking Stories

A Texan tragedy

Gas injection may have triggered earthquakes in Texas

California Lags in Fracking Regulations

All In for California Water

Fracking in Michigan

Fracking in Michigan Potential Impact on Health, Environment, Economy

Hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale

Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Marcellus Shale Gas Economics

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Pennsylvania Fracking

Fracking in Virginia

Lesson From Wyoming Fracking

Water Pollution from Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Substantial Water Pollution Risks

Methane in drinking water wells

Abandoned gas wells leak

Natural Gas Leaks Discovered in Boston

Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston

Methane leaks make fracking dirty

Fracking effects real estate values

Fracking stimulates earthquakes

Protecting Gas Pipelines From Earthquakes

Gas Pipeline Earthquake - Simulations

America's crumbling pipelines

Averting Pipeline Failures

Dangers to Underground Pipelines

Gas Pipelines Could Serve as Wireless Links

Government Action needed on a National Energy Policy

EPA Releases Update on Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

What Oil Prices Have in Store?

Methane Out, Carbon Dioxide In

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Professor Ingraffea

Anti-Fracking Billboard

Natural Gas Drilling

Threats to Biodiversity

Pronghorn Migration
hindered by gas development

Microbes in a Fracking Site

Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Shale Gas Production

Research into the Fracking Controversy

Convert Methane Into Useful Chemicals

Methane Natural Gas Into Diesel

'Natural Gas' at the molecular level

Arctic Methane risks

Arctic Methane Seeps

Great Gas Hydrate Escape

Undersea Methane Seep Ecosystem

Methane in the Atmosphere of Early Earth

Methane Natural Gas Linked to Climate Change

Cutting Methane Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

California | Colorado | Dakota | Marcellus | Massachusetts | Michigan | New York |
Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Wyoming

Shale & Coal Seam Gas - History of Fracking


The fracking technology currently used was invented in 1998

Don't be fooled by the gas industry spin that "fracking has been done safely for decades". This massive world-wide 'gas rush' is happening because George Mitchell figured out how to do it economically in 1998.

George Mitchell is known as the "Father of Fracking" due to his 1998 invention (just over 15 years ago) where he combined the old and uneconomical hydraulic fracturing, with 'slickwater' and with 'horizontal drilling' ... those 3 technologies combined made the process economical and thus fuelled the current world-wide boom in fracking

Sources: The father of fracking (The Economist)


The industry can no longer simply focus on the benefits of shale gas (The Economist)

Shale Gas Revolution (NY Times)

Yes, hydraulic fracturing or fracking by pumping water down a well was done since 1947 - but it was uneconomical and was rarely done.

"In 1998, with Mr Mitchell approaching his 80s, his team hit on the idea of substituting water for gunky drilling fluids. This drastically cut the cost of drilling and turned the Barnett Shale into a gold mine".

From the 1970s America’s energy industry reconciled itself to apparently inevitable decline.

Analysts produced charts to show that its oil and gas were running out. The big oil firms globalised in order to survive.

But Mr Mitchell was convinced that immense reserves trapped in shale rock deep beneath the surface could be freed.

He did not discover shale gas and oil: geological surveys had revealed them decades before he started. He did not even invent fracking: it had been in use since the 1940s. But few great entrepreneurs invent something entirely new.

He spent decades perfecting techniques for unlocking them: injecting high-pressure fluids into the ground to fracture the rock and create pathways for the trapped oil and gas (fracking) and drilling down and then sideways to increase each well’s yield (horizontal drilling).

"In 1998, with Mr Mitchell approaching his 80s, his team hit on the idea of substituting water for gunky drilling fluids. This drastically cut the cost of drilling and turned the Barnett Shale into a gold mine".

George Mitchell fused two technologies - hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and added a cocktail of chemicals to the fracking process which made the process economical.

The result was a revolution. In an interview with The Economist last year Mr Mitchell said he never had any doubt that fracking might turn the American energy market upside down.

But even he was surprised by the speed of the change.

Shale beds now produce more than a quarter of America’s natural gas, compared with just 1% in 2000.

Q. "Are the concerns of environmentalists over fracking justified?

George Mitchell: "As a concerned businessman and philanthropist, I have come to understand that the natural gas industry can no longer simply focus on the benefits of shale gas while failing to address its challenges.

"We know that there are significant impacts on air quality, water consumption, water contamination, and local communities."

Shale Gas Revolution

November 3, 2011 NYTimes - A few years ago, a business genius named George P. Mitchell helped offer such a gift. As Daniel Yergin writes in “The Quest,” his gripping history of energy innovation, Mitchell fought through waves of skepticism and opposition to extract natural gas from shale.

The method he and his team used to release the trapped gas, called fracking, has paid off in the most immense way.

In 2000, shale gas represented just 1 percent of American natural gas supplies.

Today, it is 30 percent and rising.

California | Colorado | Dakota | Marcellus | Massachusetts | Michigan | New York |
Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Wyoming

 

 

 

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