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Andrew Alden

A Fracking Alternative

By April 23, 2012

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Hydraulic fracturing is a fast and popular method of opening up tight rocks to let out the oil and gas inside them. The method is simple in concept, and the technology is mature, having been in use for more than 60 years. But fracking is getting a bad name because of incidents, both serious accidents and misattributed or overblown cases, that have roused public fear and opposition. You have the inflammatory documentary "Gasland," and on the other side you have diligent reporters pointing out errors in the popular coverage, countering commenters like British geoscientist James Verdon, writer of the Frackland blog, and the upcoming "Fracknation" documentary pointing out the long history of natural gas springs. No matter where things will shake out, this mature technology will be controversial for a long time to come.

Aren't there other ways to accomplish the things fracking is used for?

I've learned of one technology that opens up tight rock not by forcing open cracks, but by digging out slices of rock and leaving open voids around a well. The provider, Falconridge Oil Canada, calls it Terra Slicing. Naturally I'm not expert enough to recommend it over another technique, just pointing out that other ways exist. I know readers would welcome hearing about more; just post a comment pointing us to them.

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April 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm
(1) David Phillips says:

Wonder how that works, when the shale is 3,000 to 4,000 feet deep.
That is a lot of rock to slice.

August 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm
(2) Chris says:

Ill let you know how it works in a few weeks..

January 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm
(3) Al Morra says:

The process can be viewed in its entirety on our website. The ability of our technology is quite amazing as we are not limited vertically in how much formation we remove and we can penetrate up to 8-10 feet in both directions opening up a cavity up to 3 inches wide. Typically 300-600% increase on oil wells and up to 1500% on gas wells.

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