Mention fracking in a conversation and you’ll likely get a strong reaction.
It’s become a hot-button issue, but what exactly is it? Why does the natural gas industry believe it is critical to our energy future, and why are so many people leery about it?
As energy independence becomes a battle cry within government and the energy industry, it’s become crucial to take advantage of previously untapped resources.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technology that’s become a critical tool in extracting oil and natural gas from unconventional sources — typically impermeable rock formations such as shale.
Although the term fracking has entered the mainstream only in the last few years, its history goes back 65 years. Stanolind Oil and Gas conducted the first experimental use of fracking in 1947; Halliburton completed the first commercial treatment two years later.
And while the public has conflated fracking with new methods for natural gas extraction, it’s a process that’s used in about 90 percent of the natural gas wells in the United States. It’s also widely used in conventional oil wells to boost yields in underperforming basins.
But what’s currently getting all the attention is fracking as it is used in unconventional gas extraction. Much of that focus involves weighing the benefits against the potential hazards.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page