Fracking - the pros and cons

Scott Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shale gas is methane trapped in tiny pockets in shale rock formations. In order to extract the gas, engineers drill shafts down into the shale, most often with many radiating horizontal shafts that feed into the vertical shaft. Engineers drill vertical shafts down to great depths, then they drill radiating horizontal shafts that feed it. Then they force hydraulic fluids into the rock to fracture the shale and open the pockets of gas, releasing it to flow to the surface.

The term “fracking” is short for “hydraulic fracturing.” Over the past 10 to 15 years, the number of fracking wells has expanded rapidly in the US, liberating increasing amounts of methane.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalElsevier Connect
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2013


  • Fracking natural gas water pollution

Cite this