Thursday, December 16, 2010

But Will it Make the Earth Fat?

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the big purveyors of hydraulic fracturing fluid are introducing frac fluid with more benign ingredients.  Halliburton has introduced CleanStim, Baker Hughes has launched BJ SmartCare and Flotek Industries has a product made from citrus products.  Halliburton says its product will be more expensive than regular frac fluid until companies start buying it in greater quantities (or, realistically, until customers start buying environmentally friendly frac fluid from the company's competitors).

The chemicals involved in the new formulations include the above mentioned citrus products, mineral oil, maltodextrin and organic ester, among many others.  A Halliburton spokesman said, "The same components to make this stuff are used to make ice cream and beer."  Mmmm, beer.

A representative of the Environmental Working Group sounded unimpressed with the new formulations, saying that he was actually more concerned that fracking could allow natural gas condensates to penetrate aquifers.  Funny, I thought the "poisonous" fluid was the big issue.  Sounds like the EWG spokesman now needs a refresher in basic physics.  I was more concerned that he was going to be outraged that adding ingredients used in processed foods to frac fluid would make the earth fat.

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