Experts have known for years that natural gas deposits existed in deep shale formations, but until recently the vast quantities of natural gas in these formations were not thought to be recoverable. Today, through the use of hydraulic fracturing, combined with sophisticated horizontal drilling, extraordinary amounts of deep shale gas production from across the United States are being safely produced.
Hydraulic fracturing has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s and has become a key element of natural gas development worldwide. In fact, this process is used in nearly all natural gas wells drilled in the U.S. today. Properly conducted modern hydraulic fracturing is a safe, sophisticated, highly engineered and controlled procedure.