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Definitions: Fracking is hydraulic fracturing, a process where water (or similar liquid) is pumped down a well under high pressure. It is a proven technology in use for over 60 years. The pressure splits the rock like an axe splits a log, and creates fractures (cracks) in the rock containing the oil or gas.

The fractures grow in length and height, and act as conduits to allow the oil or gas faster access to the well. This means a higher production rate. The fractures are a bit like those you see in the sidewalk or roadway. They’re long but not very wide. Typical fracture widths are less than half an inch, and usually much smaller.

The revolution that is called shale gas or shale oil has been successful because many frac treatments are pumped one at a time along the length of a horizontal well.… More

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