Fracking is a process in which a drill is inserted into a shale, which is a cracked surface, usually rock or clay, under which oil is expected or estimated to lie.
The drill then blasts the underground well with large amounts of a liquid, usually water with added chemicals for fluidity. The fracturing occurs within the ground and/or rock formation when the water pressure is applied and veins are created for oil to flow through freely. Whereas a typical oil rig can only pump for oil vertically, many companies that induce fracturing will drill vertically as well, creating more possibilities for the procurement of natural gas and oil. The first instance of the processes’s use was in Barnett, TX, in the Barnett Shale, and has been going on for over 50 years with what some would say has been spotty government regulation, and which others would say has been too much or unwarranted in the instances in which it has occurred.
As Hannah Wiseman put it in her editorial “Untested Waters: The Rise of Hydraulic Fracturing in Oil and Gas Production and the Need to Revisit Regulation”, over time, i. .
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“Untested Waters: The Rise of Hydraulic Fracturing in Oil and Gas Production and the Need to Revisit Regulation.” (2009): n. pag. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.