In the past few years, the amount of crude oil being produced within the United States has been steadily rising. The production increase is mainly due to the increased use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. This method of removing oil from the ground helps to stimulate the production of oil wells and to make the oil flow faster and freer. It is important that fuel retailers understand why fracking has become so popular and how fracking for oil works.
Why is fracking popular?
Oil can be found in many geological formations. For decades, drilling focused on the formations where the oil flowed freely and in large quantities. However, those areas are becoming more rare or harder to access. Fracking is one method to open up geological formations where oil exists, but is harder to access.
To get the oil to start flowing through certain geological formations, it is necessary to provide it with a path through which to flow. That is where fracking comes into play, creating a network of micro-fractures through which the oil can begin to flow. At the end of the fracking process, the oil trapped in the rock formation can begin moving. Fracking is an economical way to open up new oil fields in many parts of the U.S.
How does fracking for oil work?
While fracking does work in vertical wells, the production from horizontal wells is most promising. A horizontal well begins its life as a vertical one. Once the vertical shaft hits the oil production formations, the drill team begins curving it to a horizontal bore, going deep into the layer. The horizontal bore can go up to 6,000 feet away from the vertical part of the well.
Once the well bore is complete, the drill team begins casing the borehole. The casing provides a solid, impermeable barrier through the layers above the oil production layer. This protection prevents the fracturing fluid from penetrating groundwater tables or other geologic formations. At the production layers, the team places perforated casing that will allow the fracturing liquid to escape.
With the casing in place, the next step is to mix up the fracturing fluid. The fracking fluid is usually a mixture of water, a proppant, and various chemical additives. Proppants are microparticles used to keep the microfractures open after the fracking process. Sand is a common proppant as are ceramic bits. The chemical additives in the fluid help to propel the fluid, act as lubricants, and can also help open up the microcracks faster and further.
With the casing and fluid ready, pumping can start. The drill team begins injecting the fluid into the casing under high pressures. Once the fluid reaches the perforated part of the casing, it begins working its way through any existing cracks in the oil production layer. The high pressure forces small cracks to become larger and form other smaller cracks. The fracturing repeats until the fracking process is complete. The drill team then extracts the hydraulic fracturing fluid from the wellbore, after which time it is ready for pumping.
Hydraulic fracturing is playing a big role in the resurgence of oil production within the United States. If you need a wholesale fuel supplier who understands the importance of the fracking process, contact us here at Kendrick Oil. We provide high-quality fuel products and services throughout Kansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. You can call us at 1(800) 299-3991. You can also connect with us via email by clicking on Contact Us.