Gas powers so many things in your everyday life. Whether you use gas to cook, drive, or heat your home, it’s a necessary resource for most people. But where does it come from? Since the mid-2000s, we’ve got a great deal of our oil from hydraulic fracking. But how does fracking for oil and gas work? Keep reading to find out!
The History of Hydraulic Fracking
The first use of fracking was in Kansas in 1949 by Halliburton, which is an oil and gas drilling company. They used fracking to increase the flow of gas from their wells. Some rocks are harder to crack and expose than others. For instance, the demand for shale oil—which comes from shale rock—is part of the reason why fracking is popular.
In the 1990s and 2000s, drilling companies found a way to combine fracking with horizontal drilling. The combined method is our modern way of fracking. With horizontal drilling, companies don’t drill into the land as much and instead drill beneath it.
Reasons for Fracking
The demand for natural gas—as opposed to coal—has led to an increase in fracking. Those who advocate for the method believe that it helps tackle global warming. Further, since it involves manufacturing, it is an industry that creates jobs, especially in remote areas.
How Fracking Works
How exactly does fracking work? First, semi-trucks bring giant tanks of water, sand, and chemicals to the drill site. These materials are pumped into the well, which can sit more than 5,000 feet in the ground. A drill creates small holes in the horizontal part of the well for the sand, water, and chemical mixture to go through and make cracks in the shale. The sand holds open the shale while the chemicals help extract the gas.
Extracting Natural Gas
The mixture is removed from the well to allow gas to flow back out. A well can last for 20 to 40 years and produce thousands of cubic feet of gas per day. Operators use oil and gas flow meters to monitor the flow rate so they know if the well site is giving a high enough yield. Once the gas moves back up through the well, it goes into a storage tank before moving through pipelines to consumers and businesses.
If anyone ever asks you, “How does fracking for oil and gas work?” you’ll know the ins and outs of it. This advanced method of drilling for oil supplies energy to households across the world. You could say it makes the world go around.