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Sifting Through the Marcellus Shale Smorgasbord

Marcellus Shale Blog

11/23/2010 8:32 AM

Recently, Halliburton released details of the chemicals it uses in its Marcellus Shale “fracking” process.

While most of it is water (92 percent) and sand (6.24 percent), the rest is a mixture of chemicals that could make a hearty plate of lunch or dinner, if you can stomach it.

Among the chemicals used are acetic acids, which are used to make processed fruits and are added to cheese, meat and poultry; sodium chloride, which is used in macaroni and noodle products, canned corn, tomato concentrate, and frozen peas; and sorbitan monooleate ethoxylated, a chemical used in shortening, ice cream, and chocolate products.

Halliburton did not disclose how much of these chemicals are used in the process, nor the percentage of wells it uses these chemicals in. One can assume that the amount is pretty small, considering these chemicals are used to make the additives that help in the fracking process, and the percentage of that in the overall fluid mixture is around 1 percent.

But to think that the same chemicals used to make that cottage cheese or bag of frozen peas is also used to clean wellbores and allow fluids to break-up shale 4,000 to 9,000 feet below ground doesn’t make me want to buy these things at the supermarket.

It just makes you wonder: What other chemicals are in food and what else are they being used for? Just a thought.


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