Hydrofracking is a technique where larger amounts of water, combined with smaller amounts of chemicals and sand, are pumped under high pressure into a drilled gas well. The main purpose to hydrofracking is to form tiny fractures in the rock by using water to force the rock open along tiny fractures that already exist. After the pressure is released, sand is left behind, opening the tiny fractures and allowing the gasses to escape more freely into the well.

Hydrofracking began as an experiment in 1947, but did not become a successful application until completed in 1950. The initial experiment took place in Kansas in 1947. Although, before water was introduced into the procedure, the companies used oil and other thick products to complete the fracturing job. Water was introduced to this process in 1953. Higher pressure and concentrations mean that more fractures are able to be opened, and more gas can be released from the well. Over 60% of all gas drilled wells have been achieved by hydrofracking.

Process of Fracking

Step 1: A well is drilled vertically to the desired depth, then turns ninety degrees and continues horizontally for several thousand feet into the shale believed to contain the trapped natural gas.

Step 2: A mix of water, sand, and various chemicals is pumped into the well at high pressure in order to create fissures in the scale through which the gas can escape.

Step 3: Natural gas escapes through the fissures and is drawn back up the well to the surface, where it is processed, refined, and shipped to market.

Step 4: Wastewater(also called "flow back water" or "produced water") returns to the surface after the fracking process is completed. In Michigan, this water is continued in steel tanks until it can be stored long-term by deep injection in oil and gas waste wells.

Pros and Cons of Hydrofracking


  • It is the most efficient energy extraction process
  • The United States has abundant levels of shale rock
  • It can be a massive job creator
  • It can help to create more usable water
  • Mostly sand and water are used for the hydrofracking process


  • There is a direct impact to the air quality of a region that allows hydrofracking
  • Inhaled silicon can cause some major health problems
  • Inhaled silicon can cause some major health problems
  • There are numerous health risks to the surrounding population
  • It has a high risk of oil spills
  • Honesty isn’t always involved

Any further information or explanation on the pros and cons of hydrofracking can be found on


Fracking Explained

This video can explain anything that is not understood about hydrofracking. It is a lot of use for any help or questions about fracking. Watch this video!

I hope you now have been informed of hydrofracking and understand the things that are happening when you see a fracking cite! Thank you! :)))

Comment Stream

2 years ago

I really enjoyed learning about different science topics that are out of our book. It really gave us the ability to range out and be independent about our learning. I also liked learning about different technology. It really will give me a variety when deciding on presentation, I don't always have to do a power point every time. Teaching my peers about hydrofracking really helped me learn about hydrofracking. By teaching I learned more and more along the way.

2 years ago

Im so glad you enjoyed the project Lydia and learning the new technology. I thought it was fun too. I really enjoyed having you in class and hope you have a great summer. Best wishes in your future!