Crude is my photographic response to the idea of extreme energy extraction. The term, coined by Professor Michael Klare, has been given to a range of new technologies being employed in the extraction of Natural Gas and Oil. They are termed extreme, as they require huge input to recover the natural resource often with a higher environmental cost. With ever dwindling conventional supplies these alternative techniques are growing in popularity.
One such technology that I focus on is known as Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking. It involves the drilling of deep wells into the ground. Millions of litres of water mixed with sand and chemicals are injected into the well at extreme pressure. This fractures the underlying shale rock formations and allows the natural gas to flow out.
Many of the images have been created using synthetic materials in order to ask questions about the purpose for and the impact of these technologies on the Earth’s future. With the threat of global warming, the degradation of the environment and the world seemingly coming to a crossroads at what point will we stop the pursuit of fossil fuels. Looking back over the last 100 years and with the development of these new technologies the evidence suggests that where we find these resources, we exploit them for our short-term gain, whatever the long-term cost.
by Sean Breithaupt