Over the past few years, fracking has gained a lot of attention across the U.S. and for good reason. This technological advancement was at the forefront of surging the U.S. oil and gas industry. Even though most people have heard of fracking, people outside of the oil and gas community often do not know what it actually is.
So what is fracking and how has it changed an entire industry?
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a type of drilling that has been around for over 65 years and is used in combination with horizontal drilling. Simply, fracking involves tapping into shale and other tight-rock formations in order to extract oil and gas. Operators begin this process by drilling over a mile below the ground before turning horizontally for an additional several thousand feet or more.
The wellbore is then cased and cemented, and small perforations are made in the pipe. A mixture of water, sand and additives are then injected at very high pressure through the pipe in order to create micro-fractures into the shale rock. Oil and gas liquids are then able to flow easily out of the wellbore.
Fracking allows operators to access difficult to reach oil and gas reserves that were once thought inaccessible and at a much faster rate. It Another added benefit is that the operators are able to drill horizontally on a single surface site which can accommodate multiple wells decreasing the cost and effect to the land on the surface. Fracking is more economically viable and the process has offered gas security to the United States for many years to come.
The American energy revolution is directly tied to hydraulic fracturing. The oil and gas reserves that were once thought too difficult to extract are now available for the industry. Experts suggest that in the next decade, up to 95% of natural gas wells will require fracking which and older, dying wells will be able to be brought back to life.
Simply put, the oil and gas industry has been changed forever due to fracking. The technology advancements made with hydraulic fracturing opened up a new sector of the oil and gas industry booming economies and creating thousands of jobs throughout the United States.
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