What is Fracking?

 

NMOGA_fracking_well

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a proven technology that has been used in New Mexico for the past 50 years and more than 50,000 times to safely increase production of oil and natural gas.

 

PROCESS

Fracking occurs thousands of feet below the ground and freshwater supplies, with layers of steel casing and cement protecting the ground and water around the well. Fracking, along with horizontal drilling, greatly reduces the surface footprint of oil and gas operations, allowing drilling in multiple directions from one point, rather than one direction from multiple points. Using a mixture that is 99.5% sand and water, fracking creates tiny fissures in mineral-rich rock, allowing operators to extract oil and natural gas trapped inside. Fracking only occurs for a brief period of time and, after fracked, a well can be an actively producing for decades.

 

IMPACTS

In New Mexico, advances in technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling have allowed operators to develop resources that were previously not economically viable. Thanks to fracking, New Mexico is one of the United States’ leading producers of oil and natural gas, and without fracking oil and gas production would be nearly non-existent in New Mexico.