Fracking in Pennsylvania has been in debate since 2009, when the residence of Dimock, PA expressed concerns involving fracking and fresh water sources. Tight fracking regulations and good fracking practices, means fracking can be “OK,” according to the EPA. Pennsylvania has an abundance of Marcellus Shale needed to extract natural gas, with natural gas prices dropping rapidly; the urgency to frack is becoming more evident.
In New York State, a shale drilling project gained global attention with the plan to use a waterless fracking technique. The technique is designed to reduce pollution associated with the fracking process.
How does it waterless fracking work? Propane replaces water and chemicals. The technology used a thick gel made from propane into the ground as opposed to using traditional methods of hydraulic that make use of a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals. The gel, liquefied propane gas (LPG), converts to vapor while still underground and as a result returns to the surface in a recoverable form.
The project is significant to New York and the future of fracking in the state. New York imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2010. If the waterless fracking project goes well, New York would lift the moratorium completely.
According to Business Insider, LPG fracking does not yet fall under the state’s moratorium, but could be permitted under the New York Department of Environmental Conservation‘s (DEC) 1992 Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, according to Emily DeSantis, the DEC’s director of public information.
A company in Texas, GASFRAC, started using the patent LPG fracking process about four years ago. GASFRAC charges a 50 percent premium in comparison to traditional fracking companies. GASFRAC has a significant savings in water use, truck traffic, and easier site cleanups.
“We believe this game-changing technology will be embraced by, not only regulators and the industry, but the general population as well,” eCORP CEO John Thrash
“We believe that propane/butane gel could very well become the shale ‘treatment of choice’ in all countries because of its many technical and environmental benefits relative to large volume ‘slick’ water fracking techniques,” Mark Stauss, a senior director at eCOR