Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing has been in the news recently in connection with natural gas production in parts of the Northeast and Intermountain West regions of the United States.  Hydraulic fracturing has been used for more than 60 years and is used throughout the oil and gas industry, including California.  In California, however, hydraulic fracturing is typically used to produce liquid oil rather than natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used in California for decades to enhance the recovery of the state’s prolific oil and natural gas resources.  These resources contribute in significant ways to the state’s economy, jobs and energy supply.  Some 21,000 California jobs are linked to the production of oil and natural gas and half of those jobs are in the San Joaquin Valley.

During the decades it has been used, hydraulic fracturing has never been shown to adversely impact the state’s environment, drinking water supply or pose any risk to nearby residents.  In fact, to date there has not been a documented case of fluids used in fracturing operations entering a drinking water aquifer.

In 2011, WSPA member oil companies conducted some form of hydraulic fracturing operation on 628 wells.