Energy technologies

Hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing enables companies like ExxonMobil to access unconventional oil and natural gas resources located in shale and tight-rock formations.


A proven technology with widespread economic benefits

The recent revolution in energy production, brought about by the rapid growth of unconventional gas and oil development in the United States, has generated widespread economic benefits as well as significant greenhouse gas reductions.

Hydraulic fracturing is one of several steps in the process of developing unconventional resources. At its most basic level, a “conventional” resource will flow on its own to the wellbore, while an “unconventional” resource will not. In this context, “unconventional” refers to oil and gas contained in layers of hard rock. Hydraulic fracturing is the process by which the rock is broken up, allowing the oil and gas trapped inside to flow to the well. Although new technologies have made the use of hydraulic fracturing increasingly prevalent, it is not a new practice. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in over 1 million wells worldwide over the last six decades.

Natural gas competes in every sector

World – percent of total energy demand
Image Natural gas competes in every sector
Technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have dramatically altered the natural gas supply landscape.

All articles about hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing: protecting communities and the environment Throughout the entire unconventional oil and natural gas life cycle, from exploration to decommissioning, care is taken to minimize the disruption to the community and protect the environment.

Hydraulic fracturing Article Sept. 11, 2018

How hydraulic fracturing has been used safely and reliably for over 60 years Hydraulic fracturing allows companies like ExxonMobil to access abundant unconventional oil and natural gas resources, enabling a resurgence in energy supplies that are being brought to global markets in a safe, reliable and responsible manner.

Hydraulic fracturing Article Sept. 11, 2018

A quarter-century of continuous improvement As a nation, the United States produces a lot more oil and natural gas today than we did roughly a quarter-century ago, thanks to the hydraulic fracturing revolution. In 2016 we produced 71 percent more oil compared to 1990, and 48 percent more natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing Blog May 4, 2018

Pioneers of innovation: George Mitchell, the father of an energy innovation no one saw coming First used in the 1940s, the traditional fracking method involved injecting fluid along with tiny sand grains to break up the rock and release oil and gas trapped inside. They discovered that this fracturing method exponentially improved the productivity of wells. The result? A breakthrough technology combination that went mainstream across the industry.

Hydraulic fracturing Energy Factor May 9, 2017

Focus on technology: Hydraulic fracturing Hydraulic fracturing is credited for ushering in today’s era of energy abundance in North America. Recent innovations in fracking have enabled oil and natural gas producers to unlock vast new energy supplies from “tight” rock sources such as shale. This energy abundance has brought with it new jobs, lower prices for consumers and a manufacturing renaissance.

Hydraulic fracturing Blog March 10, 2016