What’s In This Fracking Water?

on September 06, 2011 at 9:15 AM

News flash: Halliburton exec becomes (presumably) world’s first fracking-fluid imbiber.

Don’t Do This at Home, Boys and Girls

Yes, it’s apparently true. As part of the publicity surrounding the introduction of Halliburton’s new fracking fluid formula known as CleanStim, CEO Dave Lesar had one of his executives take a swig of the stuff in front of what must have been a stunned audience at a conference held by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The swigger’s identity is unknown, as are his current whereabouts and condition. However, a Halliburton spokesperson categorically denied that said executive was later seen leaping a tall building in a single bound in the vicinity of company headquarters.

According to its literature, the CleanStim formulation is “made with ingredients sourced from the food industry.” But there’s an asterisk next to that description, kind of like those TV shows when someone does a stunt and then advises, “Don’t do this at home, boys and girls.” Even though, in Halliburton’s words, “all the ingredients are acquired from food suppliers,” and even though the stuff is presumably safe to drink at oil and gas confabs, “the CleanStim fluid system should not be considered edible.”

After an Aperitif: The Ongoing Investigation into Fracking Fluid Ingredients

Will the production of a food-based fracking fluid help to rehabilitate the public’s sagging opinion of hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a hydrofracking or fracking? It probably can’t hurt. Much of the public’s concern about the practice is centered around the ingredients used in the mix of fluids that the industry injects at high pressure and large volumes into shale gas wells during development, especially during the fracturing process that is critical to breaking up the rock to allow the shale gas to be pumped to the surface.