Hydraulic Fracturing

And how it relates to Earthquakes and Water Quality

​November 17th (Tuesday), 6 p.m., via Zoom (online) – Open to Public. Presentation: “Hydraulic Fracturing and how it relates to Earthquakes and Water Quality”; Presented by Dan Creighton, Geologists of Jackson Hole.

Hydraulic Fracturing, frequently simply called “fracing”, is a technology which has enabled the United States to become the largest producer of oil during the past decade, reversing a multi-decade decline in the US production of hydrocarbons, and making the US far less dependent on sometimes less than friendly countries to meet its energy needs. Yet “fracing” can be controversial both due to concerns about contamination of subsurface water supplies, and induced or manmade earthquakes. So it is a subject that should be of interest to everyone.

This talk will begin with a description of the mechanical design of a well that is to be hydraulically fractured. It will then proceed to cover the latest literature regarding how fracing relates to earthquakes and ground water quality. Both oil industry and environmental perspectives will be presented.

The Covid Pandemic has seriously reduced US domestic oil industry operations. However, oil and gas will remain an important part of US energy supplies for some time as we transition to renewables. Should we consider a ban of fracing, or is it a tool that is important to US energy independence and enhances the role that the United States is able to play in international politics?