Cutting edge techniques to extract shale gas from the ground represent a breakthrough when it comes to energy supply, but specialist insurers are also needed to underwrite these risks.
Intelligent Insurer speaks to David Drinkall at specialist insurer Infrassure about the opportunities this industry presents.
As traditional sources of fossil fuels run low, the practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas, or ‘fracking’ as it has become known, presents a potentially big opportunity. However, the technique used to extract the gas carries significant risks. To mitigate these risks, it requires expertise and planning.
The process begins with the drilling of a vertical bore hole and then a horizontal well through shale, thousands of metres below the surface. Explosives are then set every three to four metres along the shale layer before a mixture of sand, water and chemicals is pumped in at high pressure. The detonation fractures the shale allowing gas, which is distributed in tiny pockets, to escape and be collected. The water is also recovered and sent to a treatment plant.
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Infrassure, Fracking, US, Growth