Hydraulic Fracturing


This practice note discusses hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a technology that allows companies to extract oil and gas in fine grain sedentary rocks (i.e., shale) that lie as far down as a mile or deeper below the earth's surface. Although hydraulic fracturing has existed for over a century, the last decade or so has seen leaps and bounds in the advancement of the technology, the so-called Shale Revolution, which makes it possible to extract shale oil and gas (O&G), an unconventional deposit, in commercially viable projects. Since many fracturing wells are drilled close to urban areas, fracturing has also given rise to fresh environmental concerns and sparked debates about its potential impacts on ground water safety and conservation.