DEFINITION of 'Re-fracking'
Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older shale oil and gas wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight deposits – where the shale produces low yields – to expand their productivity and extend their life.
BREAKING DOWN 'Re-fracking'
Wells sunk as little as three years ago and fracked until yields fell too low to be worthwhile are now being re-fracked. One technique is sealing up larger cracks in the well's shale with small plastic balls so that new proppant can find its way into tighter cracks with the help of a higher well pressure. With wells costing many millions of dollars to drill and complete, it makes sense to return to see if new technology can extend their life.