Hydraulic fracturing is a process used in most oil and gas wells in the U.S. Water, sand and small amounts of chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release trapped gas and oil. The technology was developed in the 1940s, and has been used in many tens of thousands of wells in the U.S. and worldwide. In the 1990s, hydraulic fracturing began to be applied to wells that were drilled horizontally into reservoirs such as shales. The success of the technology has resulted in abundant new supplies of natural gas and oil in the U.S. It is a safe and effective method used to extract energy from the Earth, and while it is an industrial process it can be done in harmony with the environment.
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