Selecciona el idioma:
  • Español
  • English


What is fracking?


Fracking is a method used to extract natural gas from unconventional sources. Its purpose is the use of gas stored in the pores and cracks of certain stratified, finely or very finely grained sedimentary rock, usually shale or marlstone, which is so impervious that the gas is sealed off from areas where extraction would be easier. This process involves drilling hundreds of wells over a large area (0.6 to 2km away from each other) and injecting into them millions of litres of water carrying a mixture of chemicals, some of which are toxic. (About 197 products are known to contain at least 260 chemicals, some of which are known to be toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic.)

Based on industry-provided data found on the web, according to which the USA employs 1.7 million workers in 400,000 wells (4.25 workers per well), experts claim that between 50,000 and 60,000 jobs could be created in Spain. The industry estimates that, keeping the same proportion, 13,500 wells would be operated in this country in order to reach those figures. Given the difference in size between the USA and Spain, well density is understandably expected to be somewhat lower in the latter, with a well every 24km2 in the USA and one every 37km2 in Spain (source: interview with Isaac Álvarez Fernández, expert advisor for companies in the shale gas industry). It should be added that most of these jobs are low-skilled and short-lived, since a well has an average lifespan of about 5 years.