Hydraulic fracturing now makes up two-thirds of all natural gas that is produced. That is the latest from the Energy Information Administration, which also says that natural gas is coming from the Marcellus Shale and Utica Regions, which is mostly in the eastern United States.
What that means for companies — especially those with easy access to the pipelines — is that they will continue to get cheap natural gas for a while, making them increasingly competitive. For those that need natural gas liquids to fuel their manufacturing or chemical processes, they are in luck as well.
Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is the method by which the shale gas is developed from deep underground. A combination of water, sand and chemicals is poured a mile beneath the earth’s surface to exhume the product. Critics say that the foul water resurfaces and effects drinking water supplies. Some studies back up those claims. Many do not.
According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2000, approximately 26,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 3.6 billion cubic per day (Bcf/d) of marketed gas in the United States, making up less than 7% of the national total. By 2015, the number of hydraulically fractured wells had grown to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 53 Bcf/d, making up about 67% of the total natural gas output of the United States.
To compile its data, it used research from IHS Global Insight and Drilling Info Inc. Those studies also said that shale oil retrieved through fracking accounts for half of all US oil production.