America has abundant natural resources and recent innovations [like fracking] combined with horizontal drilling in shale formations has unlocked vast new supplies of natural gas, allowing the nation to get to the energy it needs today, and transforming our energy future.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports that over 750 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas and 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources currently exist in discovered shale plays. Responsibly developing these resources creates jobs and fuels our economy. And the key to unlocking these resources is through the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
Recently, fracking has come to represent all parts of the development and production of a well, even though the time spent on the actual process of hydraulic fracturing a new well amounts to only a brief period of time over the course of that well.
Fracking has emerged as a contentious issue in many communities, and it is important to note that there are only two sides in the debate: those who want our oil and natural resources developed in a safe and responsible way; and those who don’t want our oil and natural gas resources developed at all. Development does bring with it some challenges, but the oil and natural gas industry has and will continue to work with concerned citizens, regulators and policy makers to make sure that it is done responsibly.
The process of bringing a well to completion is generally short-lived, taking a few months for a single well, after which the well can be in production for 20 to 40 years. The horizontal drilling process for a single well typically includes four to eight weeks to prepare the site for drilling, four or five weeks of rig work, including casing and cementing and moving all associated auxiliary equipment off the well site before fracking operations commence, and two to five days for the entire multi-stage fracking operation.