Fracking And Its Early Technological Advancements

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Introduction 1
What is Hydraulic Fracking? 2
The Roberts Torpedo, 1864 3
Kelpper Well No. 1, 1947 5
Hydrafrac, 1949 6
The Growth of Hydrafrac, 1949 - 1954 8

Hydraulic fracking (‘Fracking’) dominates the US oil and gas industry. Although it is currently a politically dividing topic due to environmental concerns (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2010), the concept behind fracking has been around for over 150 years (Roberts, 1866), and has been in use in its current state for over 60 years (Clark, 1949). This report will cover the early history of fracking, and its early technological advancements.

What is Hydraulic Fracking?
Fracking is a well-stimulation technique used most commonly in oil and gas production. Hydraulic fracking is usually performed on shale reserves, but conventional wells are also able to be fracked. Fracking is an extremely important technique; not only increasing production rates of wells but also adding approximately 20 trillion m3 of natural gas and 9 billion bbl of oil to the US reserves (Montgomery & Smith, 2010).
Fracking follows this basic process:
1. Fracking fluid is pumped into the well under high pressure (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).
2. This flows into the (perforated) reservoir rock, and creates hairline fractures (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).
3. Minute particles such as sand, called ‘proppant’ are suspended in the fluid

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