Geologists have known for years that substantial deposits of oil and natural gas are trapped in deep shale formations. These shale reservoirs were created tens of millions of years ago. Around the world today with modern and horizontal drilling techniques and hydraulic fracturing, the trapped oil and natural gas in these shale reservoirs is being safely and efficiently produced, gathered and distributed to customers.
Let’s look at a drilling and completion process of a typical oil and natural gas well. Shale reservoirs are usually one mile or more below the surface. Well below any underground source of drinking water, which is typically no more than 300-1000 feet below the surface(Figure 1)