Despite claims, hydraulic fracturing fluids are made up of approximately 99.5 percent of the fluid is water and sand. The other 0.5 percent of the fracturing fluid is composed of (in most cases) 3 to 12 additives – not 600 – that serve a unique purpose. This from FracFocus, a national hydraulic fracturing fluids disclosure database that is administered by environmental regulators:
Chemicals serve many functions in hydraulic fracturing. From limiting the growth of bacteria to preventing corrosion of the well casing, chemicals are needed to insure that the fracturing job is effective and efficient. The number of chemical additives used in a typical fracture treatment depends on the conditions of the specific well being fractured. A typical fracture treatment will use very low concentrations of between 3 and 12 additive chemicals, depending on the characteristics of the water and the shale formation being fractured. Each component serves a specific, engineered purpose.
On the issue of water management and protecting groundwater, you should know that shale producers in our region leverage technologies to recycle and reuse more and more water. This is a clear environmental winner. In fact, according to the most recent data gathered by the Pa. DEP, Marcellus Shale producers are recycling and reusing, in some cases, more than 90 percent of flowback water. The remaining water is disposed of in EPA-approved and permitted underground injection wells.