Hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking is steadily increasing the production in the oil and gas industry around the U.S. and Louisiana.
The process has been going on in the U.S. since 1947 and there have been over 1 million wells hydraulically fracked, said Regan Dickens, communications director of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Fracking is a process used to extract natural gas and oil from shale formations. Drills horizontally drill to perforate the earth thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface. Once the well is formed, water and sand is pushed into the cracks to allow natural resources to flow to the pipeline.
The Haynesville Shale play, located thousands of feet under southwestern Arkansas, northwest Louisiana and East Texas, and the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play, located under central Louisiana and south Mississippi, are two predominant shale plays in the region.
Shale gas is natural gas usually found in dense, low-permeability rocks deep under the surface. The term “play” when discussing to a shale play, is used in the oil and gas industry to refer to a geographic area that has been studied by geologists to come up with maps of the geographic region. An area comes into play when it is recognized that there is a profitable amount of oil or gas to be found.
Since 2008, there have been over 2,600 wells hydraulically fracked from the Haynesville Shale play, Dickens said. “Though not all Louisiana production, there are currently 29 wells at the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play and roughly 20 rigs running right now at the Haynesville Shale play,” he said.