1. What is unconventional gas?
Conventional natural gas comes from permeable reservoirs, typically composed of sandstone or limestone, where extraction is relatively straightforward because the gas generally flows freely. In contrast, unconventional gas is situated in rocks with extremely low permeability, which makes extracting it much more difficult. New technologies and enhanced applications of existing techniques are making it possible for BP to extract these unconventional natural gas resources safely, responsibly and economically. The combination of ____________, for example, and __________ have been key to unlocking unconventional gas reserves in the US and elsewhere.
Horizontal wells, hydraulic fracturing Vertical wells, material extracting 2. Can natural gas and drilling fluids enter underground water sources due to the fracturing process?
No – not if the well has been properly engineered and constructed. BP wells and facilities are designed, constructed, operated and decommissioned to mitigate the ___________ and ____________ enter underground aquifers, including drinking water sources. For example, we install multiple layers of steel into the natural gas well and cement these above and below any freshwater aquifers. We test the integrity
risk that natural gas, hydraulic fracturing fluids safe, clean water 3. We test the integrity of our wellbores (the hole that is drilled to form the well) before beginning the fracturing process and again when work at the well reaches completion. We monitor the integrity of the well throughout its production life. In the US, we conduct baseline water quality testing of nearby registered drinking water wells before drilling starts and share the results of these tests with local landowners. True False 4. Doesn’t fracturing use a lot of water?
Several _____ gallons of water are needed to drill and fracture some types of unconventional gas wells. This has led to concerns being raised about the water extraction, transportation and usage, particularly in areas experiencing water shortage.
Thousand million hundred 5. We are trialing a number of water-saving innovations to minimize the amount of _____________ water used in our drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, including new technologies that could make it possible for us to treat water used in fracturing for re-use in our operations. We are also supporting research and development with universities, such as Texas A&M and the MIT, to identify and test new technologies that can be applied for water treatment purposes. Fresh Reused fracking water 6. Are the chemicals used in the fracturing process hazardous?
Water and sand constitute on average 99.5% of the injection fluid. This is mixed with _____________ to create the fracturing fluid that is pumped underground at high pressure to fracture the rock with the sand propping the fractures open.
Chemicals Hazardous chemicals 7. The chemicals used in this process help to reduce friction and control bacterial growth in the well. They are mixed in a variety of ways depending on the operational needs of each fracturing operation. Some of the chemicals are classified as _______________, as are the constituents of many everyday products when in concentrated form. Each chemical used in the fracturing process is listed in the material safety data sheets at each site, which detail safe dosage limits. hazardous materials safe materials 8. Where does the water and hydraulic fracturing fluid used in the fracturing process go? The main method of handling water that flows back from the well is to re-inject it into underground formations that are thousands of _____________ beneath and isolated from drinking water aquifers. inches Feet miles 9. When underground re-injection is not viable, we explore other options including treatment of the water to regulatory standards. BP is also researching water treatment technologies to improve the opportunities for reuse within our operations. In cases where re-injection or treatment is not feasible, we use ________________ to allow the water to naturally evaporate. BP puts impermeable clay or heavy duty polyethylene liners into our ponds to contain the liquid and prevent it from seeping into the soil. Evaporation ponds Releasing it back to nature 10. What about the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with unconventional gas development?
Air emissions during drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations are mostly from the engines powering the equipment and are similar to those emitted by __________________. These emissions occur for the relatively short time required to drill and fracture a well. Greenhouse gas emissions during these operations are mostly carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion.
Motor cycles in the highway Highway trucks 11. Does hydraulic fracturing cause earth tremors?
Hydraulic fracturing creates microseismic events, but the magnitude of these is generally too small to be detected at the surface according to the Assessing the environmental risks from shale gas development study by the Worldwatch Institute. In rare cases when factors such as activating existing faults exist, hydraulic fracturing could induce seismicity equivalent to the vibrations of ________.
Trucks Jackhammer bicycle 12. What happens to the animals and plants that live close to the operations?
Hydraulic fracturing operations disturb the land and can impact sensitive ecologies. We design our operations with the aim of avoiding potential impacts. For example, we identify and attempt to avoid impacts to sensitive species, habitats and archaeology. If such impacts are unavoidable, we seek to minimize them. When this is not a viable option, we explore means of compensation.
True False 13. To minimize land use and reduce the number of well pads, we use techniques such as placing multiple wells on a single well site. We also use construction practices that minimize the physical footprint of the operations, and we carry out field studies in areas such as planting techniques and topsoil storage and reuse to help us restore the land after construction. True False