Hydraulic Fracturing

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been used for more than sixty years to extract oil and natural gas deposits from tight rock formations that were once too difficult to produce. Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, traditional technology that involves drilling thousands of feet below the earth’s surface and groundwater supplies. Every well is protected with multiple layers of steel and cement casing and then a mixture of pressurized water, sand, and specially designed compounds is pumped into the formation creating tiny fissures in targeted areas of the source rock. These tiny fissures allow oil and natural gas to escape and flow up to the surface. In Colorado, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regulates the oil and gas industry and requires that all oil and natural gas producers disclose the chemicals and amount of water used in the process to FracFocus, a free, publicly accessible website.

Basics: Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of creating small fissures, or fractures, in underground geological formations to allow natural gas and oil to flow into a wellbore and up to the surface where it is collected and prepared. It is part of the final stages of the overall drilling procedure, called the completion phase. It occurs thousands of feet—often more than a mile—below ground surface and groundwater aquifers, separated by multiple layers of impermeable rock or shale.Hydraulic fracturing is critical to the development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs that would otherwise be uneconomical. Read More »