The largest publicly traded company headquartered in the Lehigh Valley, Taminco Corp., which is based in Fogelsville, announced a joint venture with a New York company to produce a component essential in "fracking".
Fracking is the controversial method of drilling for natural gas and oil; hydraulic fluid is used to pressurize and fracture the rock formation, releasing the natural gas trapped beneath it into well built to capture it. This is one of the preferred methods of accessing the natural gas in Pennsylvania's shale rock formation.
Taminco in combination with Balchem, a chemical manufacturer located in New Hampden, NY, will jointly produce choline chloride (KCL)--a clay stabilizer. Both company have facilities in Louisiana, which is where the KCL product will be composed.
Clay stabilizer, when mixed with hydraulic fluid, prevents swelling and migration. This helps with cement formation and bonding in the well wall. In other word, the cement well is stronger and less prone to leaks.
Well leakage is one of the many environmental concerns when it comes to fracking and one big reason why some wanted it banned, entirely.