About Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracing, is a proven technological advancement which allows natural gas producers to safely recover natural gas from deep shale formations. This discovery has the potential to not only dramatically reduce our reliance on foreign fuel imports, but also to significantly reduce our national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and accelerate our transition to a carbon-light environment. Simply put, deep shale gas formation development is critical to America's energy needs and economic renewal.
Experts have known for years that natural gas deposits existed in deep shale formations, but until recently the vast quantities of natural gas in these formations were not thought to be recoverable. Today, through the use of hydraulic fracturing, combined with sophisticated horizontal drilling, extraordinary amounts of deep shale natural gas from across the United States are being safely produced.
Hydraulic fracturing has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s and has become a key element of natural gas development worldwide. In fact, this process is used in nearly all natural gas wells drilled in the U.S. today. Properly conducted modern hydraulic fracturing is a safe, sophisticated, highly engineered and controlled procedure.
In addition to water and sand, other additives are used in fracturing fluids to allow fracturing to be performed in a safe and effective manner. Additives used in hydraulic fracturing fluids include a number of compounds found in common consumer products.
Example of Typical Deep Shale Fracturing Mixture Makeup
A representation showing the percent by volume composition of typical deep shale gas hydraulic fracture components (see graphic) reveals that more than 99% of the fracturing mixture is comprised of freshwater and sand. This mixture is injected into deep shale gas formations and is typically confined by many thousands of feet of rock layers.