Shale Gas Technology has completely changed the Oil and Gas Picture in North America.Natural Gas prices have touched new low below $3/mmbtu as massive discoveries and production of shale gas has led to a glut.With the Technology being exported to other countries,it is expected that Natural Gas may take over from Coal as the preferred choice of electricity power generation.China and India are already taking out tenders for shale gas blocks.However Shale Gas has a nasty side effect which is normally not talked about.The cases have kept increasing though the mainstream media and the powerful oil lobby has tried its best to suppress it.The first one is water contamination which I had written about earlier
Shale Gas which is a new form of Gas Extraction through Shale Gas Formation found deep under the Earth through Pressurized Injection of Water Mixed with Chemicals,is coming under Environmental Scrutiny.There have already been questions raised against theEnvironmental Safety of the Shale Gas Extraction Process.However the entry of Big Oil and Gas is preventing a fair and unbiased investigation into the harmful effects of Shale Gas.Note a NGO has accused the provincial officials and Gas Companies of illegaly using Water Supplies in Pennsylvania.The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deepened the probe into the process by asking 9 Exploration Firms to send Chemicals Data used in Shale Gas.
Earthquakes the New Danger
The digging of new injection wells which is used to dispose of water has been linked to earhquakes in Ohio.Note the biggest disadvantage of hydro power is that it can cause massive earthquakes due to movement of large earth works.Shale Gas does the same in a smaller way.The Technology is quite new and all the side effects are not known.Minor earthquakes near shale gas digging has been reported before as well.
Ohio became the latest state to take action on the possible link between seismic activity and wells used to dispose of waste water from oil and gas production when state officials ordered a halt to the practice near Youngstown this weekend after several minor earthquakes.
The wells, known as injection wells, have been proliferating in Ohio to accommodate growing volumes of waste water left over from hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals underground to break apart dense layers of rock to free up oil and gas.