Oil and gas exploration has been going in new directions the last few years. This new exploration has produced brand new sources of oil and natural gas that have never been explored before. Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking or hydrofracking, is leading the way in these new exploration efforts. This exploration has produced an ever-increasing amount of U.S. produced crude oil.
What new directions has fracking taken oil and gas exploration?
For decades, geologists have known that vast reserves of oil and natural gas has sat, undisturbed, under many parts of the United States. The problem was that those deposits sat in geological formations that made extraction difficult. Certain kinds of rock tend to hinder the flow of oil and natural gas from the reserve into a wellbore for pumping to the surface.
One of those kinds of rock is shale. Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock made up of flakes of clay mixed with silt-sized bits of other minerals. This rock is formed in ancient lake or lagoon beds by slow-moving water. Due to the layering that happens during formation, this kind of rock tends to break into thin laminates, often less than 1 cm in thickness. Those close laminate layers are perfect spots for oil and natural gas to collect. The distinct layering makes it difficult for those resources to flow easily.
Shale’s layering makes traditional vertical shaft drilling an inefficient method for oil and gas extraction. That inefficiency makes vertical wells too expensive to develop.
The better solution is to bore a horizontal well into the oil or gas-producing layers, then stimulate that well with hydraulic fracturing. Horizontal drilling breaks through the layers, often for thousands of feet. Then, fracking makes the cracks in those layers wider with the use of pressurized liquid injected into the well. Properly applied, fracking will open up reserves of oil and gas that can continue producing for decades.
How far will oil and gas production go with fracking?
Since 2006, the United States has produced enough crude oil to bring our foreign imports down by over 30 percent. The production levels will continue to rise at least until the early 2020s before leveling off. Those projections keep changing as new wells go into the ground and new reserves start flowing.
Texas and North Dakota are currently the leading states for oil production using fracking. Ohio and other Midwest states are rapidly developing oil fields within their own boundaries.
Fracking is an important part of today’s oil and gas industry. It is crucial that fuel retailers realize the importance of hydraulic fracturing. If you are in need of wholesale fuel, contact us here at Kendrick Oil. To get answers to any questions about fracking, our high-quality fuel products or call us today at (800) 299-3991. You can also connect with us via email by clicking on Contact Us. For more information on our company, read more About Us