EIA: Fracking no longer 'unconventional'

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, May 12, 2016 - Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has been called “unconventional” for decades, but over the past 10 years, it has become the technique by which most natural gas is produced in the U.S. Currently fracking accounts for about two-thirds of the total U.S. marketed gas production, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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This share of production is even greater than the share of crude oil produced using that method, notes EIA, as hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production.

Using data from IHS Global Insight and DrillingInfo Inc., EIA created a profile of marketed natural gas production using well completion and production data.

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In 2000, EIA says approximately 26,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 3.6 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d) of marketed gas in the U.S., making up less than 7 percent of the national total. By 2015, the number of fracking wells had grown to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 53 Bcf/d, making up about 67 percent of the total natural gas output of the United States.

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