What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
Fracing is not a “drilling technique,” it is a technology that’s used to enhance the flow of hydrocarbons from a well once the drilling is done and the rig and derrick are removed from the scene. On average, the process takes three to five days to complete in a horizontal well, and one day in a vertical well. Once the fracturing operation is done, the well is considered “completed,” and is now ready to produce oil and natural gas for years.
Hydraulic fracturing is the process of creating fissures, or fractures, in underground formations to allow oil and natural gas to flow. Water, sand and other additives are pumped under pressure into the formation to create fractures. The newly created fractures are “propped” open by the sand, which allows the oil and natural gas to flow into the wellbore and be collected at the surface.
The process is neither new nor unique to the oil and gas industry. Over the past 60 years, hydraulic fracturing has been used for a wide variety of purposes, from stimulating the flow from water wells to bringing geothermal wells into commercial viability. It has even been called on by EPA to serve as a remediation tool for cleaning up Superfund sites.
Nor is hydraulic fracturing new to Lubbock County. There are approximately 760 wells in the Clear Fork trend extending across the county, and Texland operates roughly half of them. Nearly all of them have been hydraulically fractured.