Haynes and Boone's Christopher Kulander in the Houston Chronicle: Feds haven't made case for oversight of fracking

04/27/2010

The Houston Chronicle, Thursday, April 22, 1010
by Christopher S. Kulander

Most people are familiar with the iconic Texas image of the “gusher” - a derrick spewing oil because the reservoir pressure pushes it up the well. Oil and gas are harder to extract from “tight” rock formations that do not allow either to pass through and gush up a well like in the old movies. Such formations, often shale or coal, may be filled with gas or oil but allow them to flow only along pre-existing cracks - “fractures.”

Hydraulic fracturing - sometimes called “fracking,” “fraccing” or “fracing” - is a process in which fluid is injected into a well at very high pressures in order to either widen and deepen existing cracks or create new fractures in the tight formation. Generally, increased fracturing will allow more oil or gas to be produced from a well previously thought dry or in decline.

This article excerpted from The Houston Chronicle. For full text, click here.

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