The term “Fracking” refers to the process of hydrofracking that is a technique of causing fractures in the underground rock structure to free trapped natural gas and have it rise to the surface where it can be harvested.
The process entails the injection of “fracking fluid” that is mainly water and sand along with a small amount of additives that tend to thicken the liquid. When the cracks are made in the subsurface strata, natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow freely to the surface.
This process has made it possible to increase production, even from well old areas, where up to this time had been written off, but have been brought back to life by this process.
The use of fracturing methods goes way back in the oil and gas industry to the 1860s where dynamite and nitroglycerin explosions were used to loosen rock formations that increased the production of the oil and gas.
The process of fracking is a safe way to tap into tight rock formations such as shale. A well hole is drilled at least a mile or more below the surface of the earth, and then the good shaft is turned so that the boring of the hole goes horizontally, and that horizontal bore will continue for another several thousand feet.
When the hole is done being drilled, cased and cemented, perforations are made in the horizontal pipe. Then the fracking solution is pressure pumped into the well and it is pushed out of the holes and into the rock formations. The pressure of the fluid coming out from the perforations causes fractures to occur in the rock formation, releasing oil and gas that is trapped in the rock formation.
It is this fracking process that is causing the United States to have an energy boom at the present, as it has allowed the recovery of vast energy reserves that were hidden away in the shale and other tight rock formations. It is estimated that up to 95 percent of all the natural gas wells that will be recovering natural gas will be drilled in this manner.
As of right now, the United States is the leading producer of natural gas in the world, and as far as oil recovery, the figures are not far behind. If the oil and gas that is locked away underground can be reached by fracking, and it can, this will make the United States the leading oil producing country in the world as well.
By having access to fracking technology, the United States can produce most of its domestic energy needs right here at home without having to rely upon foreign countries for its oil and natural gas needs.
By the end of this decade, it is estimated that the US will be able to cease its imports from abroad as most of the oil and gas will be available domestically. This factor bodes well for the future energy security of the United States.