Who’s the Biggest Fracker in the World?

head silhouetteIf you’ve been around the shale gas drilling debate for long, you know that most of the opposition to drilling focuses on a little-understood, decades-old technology called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short. If you’re a science fiction fan, you may also recognize the word fracking from the Battlestar Galactica television series. The word is used as a curse word substitute for another “f” word to avoid being censored.

Fracking’s closeness in spelling, and sound, to the other “f” word has not gone unnoticed by those who oppose drilling. They’ve used the word fracking in all sorts of double entendres with signs like like “Don’t Frack Me” and hundreds of other variations. Just attend a protest meeting and you’ll see what we mean.

In a very serious debate, sometimes a little levity is a good thing. Poke fun at yourself, and at the same time, tweak the other side. Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon recently did just that with this statement about Chesapeake’s use of fracking technology:

"I’m the biggest fracker in the world. I’ve done it 16,000 times since 1989 and I’m proud of it," he said.*


*The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register (Oct 2, 2011) – Ethane Cracker May Come to Ohio

  • Anonymous

    Uh, old fracking is NOT like the NEW fracking–so don’t use symantics to cover up this evil water guzzling destructive practice

  • Anonymous

    Here you go again.  Decades old technology???  When you speak of fracking you speak of a procedure that may have been done for decades with shallow conventional wells, not deep shale wells.  This shale drilling or UNCONVENTIONAL DRILLING is a whole new ballgame.  Please quit referring to it as one and the same.  You do yourself a disservice in being so one sided and unspecific.

  • Anonymous

    Shale fracking made it’s debut back in the late 1970’s (roughly) as a procedure.  It was perfected in the Barnett Shale through the 80’s, into the 90’s, and hit it’s stride after the turn of the century, and it has made possible the coining of the term: “unconventional drilling”.  Unconventional vs. conventional is a difference between drilling a vertical wellbore into a naturally permeable material, i.e. sand.  Unconventional implies a horizonatal kick on the wellbore followed by a frack if you’re in a tight rock, like shale.  Shales have been known to contain hydrocarbons for decades, but it took some experimenting and costly education to make it commercially viable.  I guess that is pretty new in the oilfield, but it’s decades-old new…  Maybe newly profitable is another way of looking at it? 

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention the difference in depth when comparing vertical and horizontal drilling.  Therein lies the questions and doubts expressed by many.

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