Horizontal drilling is a decades-old well stimulation technique, where pressurized fluid is injected into rock to create small, millimeter-thick cracks kept open by a proppant material – typically sand – to allow natural gas and oil to flow more freely.
Horizontal drilling has reinvigorated the production of oil and natural gas by recovering crude oil and natural gas from unconventional resources such as coalbed methane, shale gas and tight sands. It also makes previously depleted wells commercially viable once more, creating access to shale deposits across the country.
Horizontal drilling occurs after drilling is complete.
Once this process is complete, crude oil and natural gas can flow freely into the wellbore, allowing for easy production.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is hydraulic fracturing fluid?
- Hydraulic fracturing fluid is normally 99.5 percent water and sand and 0.05 percent chemicals-based additives that vary from well to well.
- View the What Is in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid? Fact Sheet here
- Why is hydraulic fracturing necessary?
- While the rock formation is porous enough to hold fossil fuels, the holes are not large enough to allow oil and natural gas to easily flow through the rock and into the wellbore.
- View the Why Is Hydraulic Fracturing Used? Fact Sheet here
- What agency regulates hydraulic fracturing in Oklahoma?
- The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) is responsible for the regulation of oil and natural gas drilling and production, pipeline safety, petroleum storage tanks and filling stations, public utilities, trucking and railroad crossings. Through the Oil and Gas Conservation Division of the OCC, oil and gas well drilling is regulated in a manner that prevents waste, safeguards mineral property rights, protects the environment and ensures public safety.
- View the Hydraulic Fracturing – Oklahoma Regulations Fact Sheet here