In recent years, many Americans began to hear the term 'hydraulic fracturing' for the first time. But while this was the first time this process was coming on to the radar of many people, it is anything but new. Hydraulic fracturing has been around since the 1940's, used in more than 2 million wells.
Today, it is used across America to access previously unreachable stores of oil and natural gas deep within shale formations. The process has a long track record of success and safety, with not one case of groundwater contaimination ever being caused by it in more than six decades. There are stringent standards and regulations govern hydraulic fracturing to protect the environment and citizens.
Hydraulic fracturing is an advanced, effective technique whereby “fracturing fluids”, comprised of more than 99.5 percent water and sand, and less than 0.5 percent chemicals, are injected under high pressure into a shale formation, creating fissures that free the natural gas to flow from rock pores where it is trapped. To learn more about hydraulic fracturing, watch the video below. In just a few minutes, you will gain an understanding of the critical steps taken before hydraulic fracturing even begins; the safety measures used to protect the fresh water aquifer; and the hydraulic fracturing process itself.
Nearly 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing because it allows access to formations like shale gas available now as a result of technological advances. The combined expertise of thousands of workers in this field has developed comprehensive standards, procedures and regulations to protect citizens and the environment.
- Hydraulic Fracturing Primer (API)
- FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry (FracFocus)
- Hydraulic Fracturing: Unlocking America’s Natural Gas Resources (API)
- Hydraulic Fracturing At-a-Glance (API)
Energy policy is a stark determinant of national security and economic security. Our nation is the single-largest consumer of energy on the planet, and for good reason. We have a nation and allies to defend, cities to power, people to feed, goods to manufacture and transport, and information to process.