What is a natural gas system
Natural gas is a natural gas and an important supplier of energy. We humans use it for heating and cooking, for example. Electricity is also generated from natural gas. Natural gas is so named because it occurs several kilometers below the earth's surface. It was formed many millions of years ago. Its story begins at the bottom of the primordial seas, with small animals and algae that lived in these seas.
How is natural gas created?
When these microorganisms died, they sank to the sea floor and over time were covered by mud and rocks. The gigantic weight of the layers above created tremendous pressure. In addition, the layer with the dead microorganisms heated up because it was pressed deeper and deeper into the hot interior of the earth. Under these conditions, the dead particles turned into natural gas over millions of years. In some areas, this natural gas rose to the top and collected in higher layers of sandstone.
Where does our natural gas come from?
Companies are looking for such natural gas reservoirs to extract and sell natural gas. Once they have found a natural gas reservoir, they drill into it with a huge drill. The natural gas then flows upwards and is transported onward through pipes known as pipelines. Most of the natural gas that we use in Germany comes to us through large pipelines from other countries such as Russia. Germany also has natural gas reservoirs, but German natural gas is not enough to meet the great demand. In addition, natural gas is slowly becoming scarce in Germany: the deposits in the sandstone, from which natural gas can be extracted relatively easily, will probably be used up in a few years.
New natural gas hiding places
For this reason, companies are looking for new natural gas hiding places. One of them is claystone. The natural gas there was created in exactly the same way as "normal" natural gas. However, it did not move up, but got stuck at the place where it was created. So it is stored particularly deep in the earth. In order to get to the natural gas trapped in the clay, a special technique has to be used: fracking.
What is fracking?
In fracking, a drill first digs its way into the earth vertically. Once at the bottom, he drills to the side. Then a lot of water - mixed with sand and chemicals - is pumped into the cavity created. The chemicals ensure, among other things, that water and sand mix well. The mixture is then pressed into the clay stone with a lot of pressure. Small cracks appear there as a result of the pressure. The sand gets stuck in these cracks, ensuring that they stay open. Now the liquid is pumped out again and the natural gas can flow up through the cracks.
Discussion about fracking
At the moment, no natural gas is extracted from claystone in Germany. Many environmentalists and citizens are against it. For example, they fear that the chemicals pumped into the earth will poison the groundwater. There is currently a fracking boom in the USA and there are many environmental problems there, for example caused by old, broken pipes. There are cases where drinking water has been contaminated by fracking. Citizens' protests have also contributed to the so-called moratorium in Germany since 2013: Politicians and industry have decided not to use fracking in clay until it has been clearly established that this technology is not harmful to the environment or health.
Status: 03/22/2010, 4:25 pm
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