A proven technology for extracting
Shale Gas | For decades, experts have been
aware of the vast quantities of natural gas in
deep shale formations. It is only recently,
however, that these resources have become
economically recoverable. Now, with multi-
stage hydraulic fracturing technology— combined
with horizontal drilling—natural gas from shale
plays are being produced all across the country.
The Eagle ford is currently at the top of the list
of prolific shale plays.
The History of Fracturing
The process of hydraulic fracturing has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s. In more recent times, improvement of the technology has made “fracing” an important element of natural gas development. In fact, the process is now employed in most wells drilled in the U.S.
The Fracturing Process
Hydraulic fracturing is the
process of forcing—at extremely
high pressure— water and sand
down a newly-drilled and cased
oil or gas well. This combination
frac fluid is forced into the
Then, the force of the fluid opens
up tiny cracks or fissures between
the grains of the rocks and expands
on the natural porosity of the reservoir. After the formation is fractured, a “propping agent,”
such as sand, is pumped into the fractures to keep them from closing.
Hydraulic fracturing has been used in horizontal and vertical oil and gas wells for more than 60 years. During that time, the process has not resulted in a single reported case of groundwater contamination. The environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing is closely guided by strict EPA and state regulations concerning water use and disposal. The result is a smaller footprint on our environment
The Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing
The process of hydraulic fracturing can significantly reduce our country’s reliance on imported oil. At the same time, we can decrease carbon dioxide emissions and help protect our environment. In short, the development of deep shale formations—made possible by hydraulic fracturing—is a boon to our country’s energy needs. Indeed, the resulting natural gas solves future clean energy needs for our country and our world.
The State of Fracturing Today
Since its inception, the results of hydraulic fracturing have been prolific. To date, the process has been responsible for the production of seven billion barrels of domestically produced oil and over 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to the National Petroleum Council, as many as 80 percent of future oil and gas wells will be hydraulically fractured.