Though this technique was first used in 1947, beginning in the mid-1990s, the industry began using a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas from shale and other unconventional resource plays.
It involves pumping a mixture of more than 99 percent water and sand, along with less than one percent of chemical additives, into a geologic formation to create minute spaces in rocks so that oil and gas can flow up the wellbore into a pipeline. Typical wells are drilled to depths of 4,000 to 14,000 feet – well below groundwater aquifers that generally occur at less than 500 feet below the surface. These aquifers are isolated due to natural barriers from overlying and underlying impermeable rock formations. Steel pipe and casing also are used to protect groundwater sources.SEE FACT SHEET
We were among the first in the industry to voluntarily disclose details about fracturing on a national registry, even before the states required this data. We believe there is nothing secret in this business, and that public transparency is vital. In just one year, more than 200 energy-producing companies have joined us and have registered thousands of well sites through FracFocus.
This online database was created by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. It includes information on more than 1,600 of our wells in the United States.
You can view our disclosures under the operator name of WPX Energy.FRACFOCUS.ORG
By 2007, WPX was needing to use 30,000 barrels a day of water for fracking its local wells. A barrel is 42 gallons. That was requiring delivery of 300 truckloads of water a day, or nearly 110,000 a year. Besides the cost involved, the company was catching criticism from the public over the high level of truck traffic. “We knew we had thousands of wells to drill in the valley here, and we needed to find a better way.” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has the story.READ FEATURE