Fracking and Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Fracking and Pressure

In hydraulic fracturing or fracking, after a vertical shaft is dug from 1 to 2 miles deep in the earth to locate natural gas or oil, horizontal drilling occurs that can extend up to a mile from the vertical shaft. With the fracking well encased in steel and/or cement to prevent leakage into ground water, a fracking fluid is pumped down the well at pressures that can exceed 9,000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 62,050 kilopascals (kPA). This pressure can fracture the surrounding rock and create fissures and cracks for oil and gas flow. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), about 13,000 new wells are drilled every year.

The Fracking Process

The fracking process: pressures ≤ 90,000 psi. Figure courtesy of Friends of the Earth.

 

With concerns over the consequences of fracking, many people’s blood pressure increases when the topic of fracking is discussed. Unlike, fracking pressures themselves, this pressure measurement is perfect for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors.

Blood Pressure

The results of fracking discussions: higher blood pressures ≥ 120-mm Hg. Figure courtesy of Shutterstock.

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