Fracking causes methane to leak into the atmosphere

Posted: 29/05/2012

A report by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, one of the biggest investors in gas, has claimed that Fracking companies are failing to use simple equipment to fix leaks of methane gas.

Methane Gas is twenty times more potent that carbon dioxide when relating to global warming and it is leaking into the atmosphere when rocks are blasted apart to obtain Shale Gas by Fracking.

Scottish Widows have suggested that Fracking companies can use simple technology that could capture the methane gas, known as fugitive methane and sell it. The biggest problem is there are no penalties for leaks so companies continue to release this dangerous gas that has huge implications on climate change.

Scottish Widows claim that it would take 2 to 3 decades for Shale Gas to make a difference in reducing green house gas emissions. Due to the expansion of Fracking in the US, fugitive emissions now contribute to a massive 20% of the countries total greenhouse gas emissions and is constantly rising, taking over agriculture as the United States largest source of methane.

Fracking was claimed to be a greener way of producing energy over coal, but the methane gas released when extracting Shale Gas is wiping out any carbon savings and will carry on doing so unless the dilemma is tackled.

According to studies, it would cost Fracking companies very little expense to prevent the fugitive methane gas escaping into the atmosphere. Plugging leaks using capturing technologies and storing the gas that can be sold along with the rest of the shale gas will solve the problem. It is estimated the Fracking companies could see a return within a year after investing in methane capturing equipment.

If you would like to learn more about Fracking and the impact the procedure has on the environment, please view our previous blogs below;

The chairman of the Environment Agency backs Fracking

Blackpool earthquakes were caused by Fracking, yet the procedure continues

The Governments decision on Fracking for the UK

The extraction of Shale Gas is a very controversial issue, what is your opinion on Fracking?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(1) Comments atmosphere, environment, energy, shale gas, Fracking

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