How would you classify the natural gas drilling production

Drilling for natural gas doesn’t usually conjure up images of an undisturbed landscape. In fact, studies by the EPA as well as private environmental groups reveal that the major method for extracting natural gas from the earth—hydraulic fracturing—can result in contaminated water supplies. Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals deep into the ground to crack open the beds of shale containing natural gas, allowing the gas to rise to the surface. Environmental scientists as well as residents of communities near where the drilling takes place are concerned about the amount of water being used as well as potential contamination of surrounding water supplies by the chemicals used in the process.
A number of the energy companies—including those that drill for oil and natural gas—are paying attention to these concerns. Environmental Technologies Ltd. is making a nontoxic alternative to the toxic chemicals, stating that their product kills bacteria just as effectively. Ecosphere Technologies Inc., with headquarters in Florida, claims it can eliminate the need for anti-bacterial chemicals completely by killing the bacteria at the surface before water is injected into the gas wells. Ecosphere also helps energy producers reuse the water from hydraulic fracturing in order to reduce water use and waste. Traditionally, companies have paid to have millions of gallons of waste water shipped to treatment plants or disposal sites.
None of these firms is advocating the cessation of drilling. Drew Bledsoe, former NFL player who is now an investor in Ecosphere Technologies, explains why. We’ve got so much gas under the ground here domestically that we can really take a bite out of our dependence on foreign energy, he says. Instead, the firms are researching and developing greener technologies. In fact, new companies— and divisions or subsidiaries of the larger energy firms—are forming rapidly to take advantage of this business opportunity. There a lot of companies trying to get into the business, observes Jack Stabenau, a former Halliburton manager who has been hired by Water Tectonics to run its new division Blu Energy Solutions. I’ve literally had people send me stuff that they’ve been working on in their garage.
Questions for Critical Thinking
1. How would you classify the natural gas drilling production system? Explain why.
2. Do you predict that the firms that are investing in greener processes will ultimately be successful? Why or why not?