Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a proven and well-regulated technology. First used in the 1940s, hydraulic fracturing has unlocked massive new supplies of oil and clean-burning natural gas from dense deposits of shale — supplies that increase our country’s energy security and improve our ability to generate electricity, heat homes and power vehicles for generations to come. Fracking has been used in more than one million U.S. wells, and has safely produced more than seven billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Learn about the fracking process.
In addition to enhancing our domestic energy supplies, shale development has irrefutable economic benefits. Hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus and Barnett Shale has boosted local economies—generating royalty payments to property owners, providing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed high-paying American jobs. Engineering and surveying, construction, hospitality, equipment manufacturing and environmental permitting are just some of the professions experiencing the positive ripple effects of increased oil and natural gas shale development.
Some opponents of oil and natural gas production claim that fracking has serious environmental consequences. The truth is, while all development has challenges, hydraulic fracturing technology has a strong environmental track record and is employed under close supervision by state, local and federal regulators. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) have confirmed no direct link between hydraulic fracturing operations and groundwater contamination. In fact, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson recently testified that she was “…not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”
Fracking makes it possible to produce oil and natural gas in places where conventional technologies are ineffective. Access to new wells encourages economic growth and provides energy for all Americans. The oil and natural gas industry is committed to the continued safe and responsible development of our domestic resources and ensuring that the public is part of the conversation. Informed dialogue is critical since studies estimate that up to 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing technology.
For more on hydraulic fracturing please visit our site EnergyFromShale.