Hydraulic Fracturing


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.

BREAKING DOWN '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.

  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 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. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Oil Producers in Asia

    Learn which Asian countries deliver the most crude oil to market, and discover what companies are the biggest producers in each country.
  7. Stock Analysis

    The 5 Biggest Russian Oil Companies

    Discover the top Russian oil companies by production volume and find out more about their domestic and international business operations.
  8. Economics

    The US States That Produce the Most Oil

    Learn what eight states produce over 90% of U.S. oil, and how fracking has helped the United States become the world's largest oil-producing nation.
  9. Stock Analysis

    3 Solar Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio

    Understand the growth and challenges of the renewable energy market and its success in 2015. Learn about the top three energy stocks to add to a portfolio.
  10. Investing News

    Glencore Shares Surge in Hong Kong

    Shares of Glencore International, a leading multinational commodities and mining company, jumped by around 15% on London Stock Exchange, after the shares had gained about 71% earlier on the Hong ...
  1. How much oil must be produced to maintain inventory levels in the United States?

    Domestic energy investors should track the reserve inventory of crude oil for the United States, which is released in a weekly ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. To what extent is the oil and gas sector dominated by a few major companies?

    Oil and gas are two expansive and highly diverse product lines, with active competition domestically and internationally. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
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!