In the new age of technology, energy means power and authority, while the means of accessing or producing it make all the difference for societies. Hydraulic technologies are at a centralized position in the current energy paradigm, enabling oil and gas companies to carry out huge operations worldwide, drilling, fracking and extracting oil and gas from remote areas. Hydraulics as a business is also quite the world in itself with companies such as RYCO Hydraulics providing services in sales and installment of products, repair & maintenance as well as consultancy, seeking to improve efficiency in the market and expand its capabilities on a global scale. As energy policies begin to change, new technologies provide further insight into the issue of energy and the public pays more attention to alternatives, the future of hydraulics technology and business is obscured. Those seeking enlightenment and insight need to focus on the political, legal, technological and economic changes taking place currently to attain success.
Fracking seems to be a hot subject for discussion lately in America, while the method does not seem to resonate too well with the rest of the world, leading one to question the reasons why. The price factor is determinant in this reality because as more drillers find gas and oil in foreign fields, they also bring down the prices per barrel or million BTUS, making it an unattractive business to invest into for foreign partners. The North American legal system is also quite different than the rest of the world, where issues such as hydraulic fracking are almost always met with legal complications. Similarly, it is quite easy for American oil and gas giants to negotiate with property owners to have access to the reservoirs in their land, whereas such a capability does not exist in many other countries in the world where national interests and governmental intervention are significant problems. The US infrastructure is also a widespread, technically advanced and easily accessible one whereas most other countries lack such an infrastructure, making it impossible to do business there.
One of the primary issues associated with fracking is the possibility that the by-products produced by the method can contaminate water reservoirs and air in surrounding areas. A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that five aspects of the process have been found to affect drinking water supplies, whereas “the number of such instances … was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.” The agency hopes to preserve America’s drinking water reservoirs while also providing a guideline for oil companies to utilize in their safe search for oil in the country. The opponents of fracking, namely The Sierra Club, stated that the study confirmed “dirty oil and gas fracking contaminates drinking water,” while the supporters of the practice pointed towards adherence to industry standards as the optimal protection for drinking water. Videos of tap water burning as well as studies regarding air pollution exist to this day, which have contributed to the creation of a legal movement that is backed by political initiatives that seeks to limit corporate capabilities in the name of protecting the environment and human beings.
Regardless of countless debates and studies, Halliburton, Chevron and Exxon are currently investing into hydraulic fracturing projects in Poland. The current state of economic crisis in Europe has pursued European energy companies to “secure licenses to roll out extraction projects this side of the Atlantic,” as Halliburton carried out its first hydraulic fracturing operation in Poland last August. The company is hoping to capitalize on Poland’s massive 1.4 trillion cubic meters of oil and gas. Similarly, Exxon and Chevron are also seeking licenses to drill for wells in Poland, using the country’s current dependency on coal as a political card, emphasizing the fact that coal based energy production produces significant CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The country, however, needs to construct a new network of roads and highways for this purpose, which will have significant economic and environmental costs. The Polish government on the other hand is ecstatic about the possibilities of a future as an oil-producing nation, claiming that the US-based environmentalist propaganda is only a political tool directed at Polish national foreign policy.