Also known as hydraulic fracturing, fracking is a common practice used in excavating natural resources, like oil and gas, below the earth’s surface. Specifically, it is utilized to reach areas that are inaccessible without modern technology. To ensure fracking does not cause additional harm to the environment, scientists and researchers use three-dimensional imaging to identify the precise location of shale rock layers saturated with natural oil and gas. At this point, drilling and well construction occur.
Fracking uses both vertical and horizontal drilling. As such, the need for multiple wells in one region is heavily reduced. Drilling begins in one central location, and upon reaching the depth necessary to access the natural resources, the process converts to horizontal drilling and branches out to reach the gas-bearing rocks. Heavy water pressure is then extracted to create fractures in the rocks, which allows the oil and natural gas to flow out of the well.