Forbes: Fracking Gets the Attention, But Horizontal Drilling is the Real Marvel
We often hear spokespeople for the oil and natural gas industry talk about how the massive new shale gas and oil resources discovered in recent years were made possible by the wedding of two technologies: Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking” in media parlance) and Horizontal Drilling. Once that statement is made, the conversation with news reporters, at townhall meetings and in public speaking engagements then quickly focuses on the “Fracking” part of the equation, leaving Horizontal Drilling to sit largely ignored and unappreciated by the media and the public at large.
This is a shame, because the truth is that, of the two technologies, Horizontal Drilling is the real marvel of engineering and scientific innovation. While impressive in its own right, the main innovations in “Fracking” in recent years have been beefing up the generating horsepower to accommodate horizontal wells rather than vertical ones, and refining of the fluids used to conserve water and create better, longer lasting fractures in the target formation.