Hydraulic Fracturing

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Hydraulic Fracturing'

Hydraulic fracturing refers to the procedure of creating fractures in rocks and rock formations by injecting a mixture of sand and water into the cracks to force underground to open further. The larger fissures allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation and into the well bore, from where it can be extracted.


Hydraulic Fracturing has resulted in many oil and gas wells attaining a state of economic viability, due to the level of extraction that can be reached.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Hydraulic Fracturing'

Petroleum engineers have used hydraulic fracturing as a means of increasing well production since the late 1940s. Fractures can also exist naturally in formations, and both natural and man-made fractures can be widened by this process. As a result, more oil and gas can be extracted from a given area of land.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Energy Return On Investment - EROI

    The amount of energy that has to be expended in order to produce ...
  2. Oil Refinery

    An industrial plant that refines crude oil into petroleum products ...
  3. Working Interests

    Refers to a form of investment in oil and gas drilling operations ...
  4. Oil Sands

    Sand and rock material which contains crude bitumen (a heavy, ...
  5. Futures

    A financial contract obligating the buyer to purchase an asset ...
  6. P5+1

    The P5+1 is a group of world powers who have been negotiating ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do the costs of oil sands producers compare to traditional drillers?

    The oil sands of Canada are some of the most expensive crude oil assets in the world to produce. Each asset type, such as ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do all oil companies received the quoted price of West Texas Intermediate for their ...

    The quoted, or spot, price of West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude oil is just one of several benchmark oil prices. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do the average costs compare for the different types of oil drilling rigs?

    Average costs vary widely between different types of oil rigs, starting at around $20 million and ranging as high as close ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How long does it take an oil and gas producer to go from drilling to production?

    Depending on the depth of drilling required and the type of drilling method used, a standard oil well can commonly advance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does an oil and gas company measure and state its production?

    Measuring Oil and Gas Production Oil and gas exploration and production companies, or E&P companies, use three basic ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What credit rating should I look for in an oil and gas company?

    Look for a credit rating in an oil and gas company that is suitable for your desired returns and risk tolerance level. Companies ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Oil: A Big Investment With Big Tax Breaks

    Oil and gas investments can provide unmatched deduction potential for accredited investors.
  2. Active Trading

    Oil And Gas Industry Primer

    Before jumping into this hot sector, learn how these companies make their money.
  3. Active Trading

    Uncovering Oil And Gas Futures

    Find out how to stay on top of data reports that could cause volatility in oil and gas markets.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Investing In Oil And Gas UITs

    Unit investment trusts provide direct exposure to the energy sector, fueling better returns.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Accounting For Differences In Oil And Gas Accounting

    How a company accounts for its expenses affects how its net income and cash flow numbers are reported.
  6. Budgeting

    The Adverse Effects of Cheap Gas

    While low gas prices are welcomed, smart budgeters must anticipate future price hikes and consider the impact of low gas prices on investments and taxes.
  7. Chart Advisor

    3 Ways To Trade The Bounce In Coal

    News from the Supreme Court has caused active traders to turn their attention to the coal markets. We'll take a look at how to trade the bounce.
  8. Savings

    Do Oil Prices Affect The Auto Industry?

    Based on an understanding of complementary and substitute goods, the American auto industry is exhibiting expected effects from the recent plunge in the price of oil.
  9. Professionals

    How Going Green Can Cut Your Taxes

    Investors looking to improve their bottom line via green investing without risk should take advantage of these tax credits.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Three Steps Elon Musk Took To Become Successful

    What steps did Elon Musk take to become the person he is today? We explore three steps that are accessible to all of us.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. American Dream

    The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version ...
  2. Multicurrency Note Facility

    A credit facility that finances short- to medium-term Euro notes. Multicurrency note facilities are denominated in many currencies. ...
  3. National Currency

    The currency or legal tender issued by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. The national currency of a nation is ...
  4. Treasury Yield

    The return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the debt obligations of the U.S. government. Treasuries are considered ...
  5. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
  6. European Central Bank - ECB

    The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!