technology and process
The United States sits atop tremendous natural resources. Several studies have shown that recent innovations, particularly combining hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling, have unlocked vast new supplies of domestic natural gas that are plentiful enough to provide 100 years of supply at current demand levels. The challenge is that much of the United States' onshore natural gas resources are locked away in difficult-to-reach formations.
A combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has enabled the energy industry to economically access and produce unconventional gas.
In hydraulic fracturing, a solution – primarily water and sand, mixed with a small amount of chemicals – is injected into the rock to open very thin cracks, allowing trapped natural gas to migrate up to the well. Learn more about the fluid that allows us to access natural gas.
Hydraulic fracturing is a time-tested, proven technology that has been safely used in more than a million wells worldwide since the 1940s.