WASHINGTON, March 24, 2016 - Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has been in use for more than six decades, but has only recently been used to produce a significant portion of crude oil in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Fracking, often used in combination with horizontal drilling, has allowed the U.S. to increase its oil production faster than at any time in its history, says EIA.

Based on the most recent available data from states, EIA estimates that oil production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about half of total U.S. crude oil production.

Fracking involves forcing a liquid (primarily water) under high pressure from a wellbore against a rock formation until it fractures. The fracture lengthens as the high-pressure liquid in the wellbore flows into the formation. This injected liquid contains a proppant – small, solid particles, usually sand or a man-made granular solid of similar size – that fills the expanding fracture.

When the injection is stopped and the high pressure is reduced, the formation attempts to settle back into its original configuration, but the proppant keeps the fracture open. This allows hydrocarbons such as crude oil and natural gas to flow from the rock formation back to the wellbore and then to the surface.

EIA created a profile of oil production in the U.S. using well completion and production data from DrillingInfo and IHS Global Insight. According to EIA, in 2000, approximately 23,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 102,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil in the U.S., making up less than 2 percent of the national total. By 2015, says EIA, the number of hydraulically fractured wells grew to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 4.3 million b/d, making up about 50 percent of the U.S. total oil output. EIA says that estimates may vary from other sources depending on well types and update schedules.


For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com