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.

(For more, see: Fracking Can't Happen Without These Companies) and (Why Schlumberger Is A Name You Should Know.) 


  1. P5+1

    The P5+1 is a group of world powers who have been negotiating ...
  2. Control Of Well Insurance

    Insurance that provides coverage to companies operating a well ...
  3. 1979 energy crisis

    The 1979 energy crisis in the U.S. was an event of widespread ...
  4. Benchmark Crude Oil

    Benchmark crude oil is crude oil that serves as a pricing reference, ...
  5. Groundwater

    Water that is found underground rather than on the surface.
  6. Non-Hydraulic Fracturing

    Fracturing rock at depth without the use of fluid pressure. Non-hydraulic ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Fracking Can't Happen Without These Companies

    With all the attention paid to fracking, what is are the good investment opportunities? Are the companies that extract oil and natural gas a good bet?
  2. Stock Analysis

    Why Schlumberger Is A Name You Should Know

    Want to make money in the oil and gas industry? Be an ancillary service provider--that's where the real money is.
  3. Investing

    How Shale Fracking May Hurt Your Investment

    With news that shale drilling has caused earthquakes, you may want to rethink your investments.
  4. Stock Analysis

    3 Resilient Oil Stocks for a Down Market

    Stuck on oil? Take a look at these six stocks—three that present risk vs. three that offer some resiliency.
  5. Chart Advisor

    These Oil & Gas Stocks Have Reversed

    It's been a long downtrend for oil stock owners, but there's hope. These four oil and gas stocks have reversed and may keep trending to the upside.
  6. Economics

    The Biggest Oil Towns in North Dakota

    Learn how the oil boom in North Dakota has transformed two small towns from sleepy agricultural outposts to booming centers of industry almost overnight.
  7. Investing News

    Oil Prices Expected to Surge in 2017

    Oil has made headlines for its plummeting prices this year. When will prices rise again?
  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

    The 5 Best Buy-and-Hold Energy Stocks

    Understand why energy companies' stock are volatile when oil prices are volatile. Learn about the top five energy companies to buy and hold.
  10. Investing

    Oil: Why Not to Put Faith in Forecasts

    West Texas Intermediate oil futures have recently made pronounced movements. What do they bode for the world market?
  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. What are average operating expenses for the oil and gas sector?

    The oil and gas sector plays an important role in the economy by drilling, extracting, and processing oil and gas. Because ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. Why is investing in oil and gas in emerging markets riskier than investing in developed ...

    Investments in oil and gas in emerging markets generally carry higher risks than similar investments in developed countries. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the long-term outlook of the aerospace sector compare to the broader economy?

    As of 2015, the long-term outlook of the aerospace and defense sector is uncertain, much like the broader economy. That said, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

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

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