Who knew a little bean could trigger such a frantic race?
“Frackers” are scrambling to find a new substitute for India’s guar bean.
Guar is a key ingredient used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking). That’s the drilling technologythat’s revolutionized the energy industry and caused significant health and environmental concerns. The process has brought massive supplies of fuel to the market. And the technology is now being used to unlock giant oil fields long considered too difficult to tap.
The guar bean is mainly grown in India. Its extract produces a gel in fracking fluid, which delivers “proppant” to hold open cracks in shale rock when it is fracked.