The process of fracking allows energy companies to extract oil from shale deposits and natural gas from deep below the surface. When large deposits were discovered in the United States, energy companies and investors began to see the profitability available, as well as reduced dependency on foreign energy. Owners of the land where deposits are found are also profiting from the boom in drilling. Those who have invested in companies, suppliers of drilling materials, storage facilities, and transportation companies have seen unprecedented high returns on their investments. According to the National Association of Royalty Owners, twelve million Americans are enjoying regular royalty checks from gas and oil wells.
There is still time to benefit from increased fracking. Drilling continues because deposit sites will provide energy resources for ten to thirty years. The process consists of using water, sand, and chemicals to fracture rock formations and allow the oil or gas to flow out. The resource is extracted via piping designed to prevent leaks and loss of the commodity. There are some environmental issues to consider before investing, so it is wise to get the facts on the controversy and decide how to proceed. There is certainly money to be made, although no investment is risk-free. The air quality can be compromised as methane, toxins, and organic compounds are released into the air. The other side of that is using oil and natural gas for energy creates lower emissions than the burning of coal.
Another argument is possible contamination of the water supply. Chemicals are being introduced into the rock at high pressure. Some will eventually end up in the ground water. Any leaking will also affect the water supply. Investors and companies indicate the risk is small and localized. Studies are still being conducted on the long-term consequences to the water supply. More research is needed to determine if the trade off is worth it. There are other ways to invest in energy if the fracking debate leaves investors undecided. Solar energy and wind turbines are enjoying the benefit of advanced technology so there are plenty of investment opportunities in that sector of the energy industry.