Hydraulic fracking has its supporters and detractors, certainly. Supporters, including those from the Virginia Petroleum Council, will be happy to note that the George Washington National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia will allow some oil and gas extraction activities is. This includes horizontal drilling and fracking. This news came out on November 18, and those who support fracking and drilling are naturally quite pleased with the decision, as it opens up new avenues for energy.
The decision does limit new leasing though, and it has detailed guidelines in place for the development of the current 10,000 acres ripe for development, as well as the more than 167,000 acres of land that has existing mineral rights. It is also important to note that currently, no existing lease or property with mineral rights is active.
The decision doesn’t prohibit any type of technologies from use in the area, which is far different from the earlier version. The first version of the plan, a revision of one from 1993, actually banned both horizontal drilling and fracking. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the department that made this decision, believes that when safe techniques and technology are in use, it will not cause undue damage to the environment. Supporters also see this as a victory for more domestic oil and gas production.
The Pros and Cons of Fracking
A common misconception about hydraulic fracking that many people believe is that this is a brand new and untested technique. It has actually been in use for well over six decades now, including many locations in Virginia. While opponents point to the dangers to the environment that this and other types of oil and gas extraction can cause, when the proper safety measures are in place and enforced, it does help to limit those risks. Fracking also happens to offer a number of benefits.
One of the biggest benefits, especially to this area, is the fact that these new allowances could help to increase the number of jobs in the state. Fracking and drilling takes equipment, and it takes people, so there is great potential for new jobs in the area, which can help the overall economy. Currently, Virginia has more than 18,000 jobs in the drilling and fracking field, and experts believe this number could nearly double in the next twenty years.
By keeping gas and oil production in the United States, it can also help to keep the prices of oil level, and it can help reduce the dependency that the nation has on oil from other countries.
About Oil Works Inc.
Oil Works, Inc. is a complete drilling rig equipment manufacturer and service provider based in the Permian Basin for over 20 years. OWI’s product and service offerings include Derricks, Substructures, Drawworks, Mud Systems, Walking Systems, Power Generation, Control Systems, Iron Roughneck Repair and Upgrades and complete Rig Solutions built to API and ISO standards. OWI is also proud to offer 24/7 Service and Support.