What is Hydraulic Fracturing and Why Does it Matter?

If you asked your friends and family what fracing is, they’ve all likely heard of it but can’t explain what it is or how it benefits the world. Hydraulic Fracturing is a process of extracting oil and gas by drilling into the ground, then injecting a mixture of water, sand, and other chemicals into subterranean rock at a high pressure. As water flows into the ground, new fractures develop in the rock and expand existing ones, allowing the gas and oil trapped inside to rise through the well. Fracing further aids our access to natural resources trapped in low-permeability rocks like tight sandstone, shale and some coal beds.

While fracing was accidentally discovered during the Civil War, it wasn’t until the 1930s and 1940s that drilling companies began using acid rather than explosives to increase productivity in oil wells. After Halliburton successfully tested fracing in 1949, companies began using this method. 

By the 1970s, fracing was present in major oil basins. As a means of gaining energy independence for the U.S. by 1985, President Gerald Ford included fracing as a necessary measure in his 1975 State of the Union Address. He promoted the development of shale oil in his energy plan as a way to reduce the amount of foreign oil that was imported and to help the U.S. regain its position as a world leader in energy production.

In 2005, the Shale Boom for natural gas occurred. Shale Fracturing increased natural gas and oil production over the next seven to ten years and broke production records previously set in the 1970s. It was a momentum shift in the energy production industry.

Hydraulic Fracturing is just one method of extracting natural resources from earth. Together, these methods support the industries and products that people and businesses rely on every day. These oil and gas resources contain chemical compounds from which petrochemicals are derived. Petrochemicals are core components in many of the items we use every day and provide a necessary lifeline to many key industries. For example, the medical field saves lives everyday thanks to technology that uses petrochemicals. Some of these items include:

Some of these items include:

  • Syringes
  • Incubators
  • Ventilators
  • MRI and X-Ray machines
  • Certain vaccines and refrigeration to keep them from spoiling
  • Scrubs, masks, latex gloves, hand sanitizer, hand soap and disinfectant solutions 

While the reliance on oil, gas and petrochemicals remains imperative, the world is moving toward a cleaner, greener approach to energy production.   Biofuels have been suggested as an alternative. However, until they are commercially available and proven to benefit the environment, oil and gas will continue to be a cornerstone of our global society.  Rather than replacing oil and gas overnight with unreliable or unscalable options, the energy industry is innovating current technology in the spirit of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

The EPA states: “Unconventional oil and natural gas play a key role in our nation’s clean energy future. The U.S. has vast reserves of such resources that are commercially viable as a result of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies. These technologies enable greater access to oil and natural gas in shale formations. Responsible development of America’s shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental benefits.”

This forward-looking, innovative development can be seen in the release of Catalyst’s new VortexPrimeTM where natural gas, turbine technology is creating a 20% reduction in system costs including less truck travel, fewer workers to operate, and fuel savings. A frac footprint comparison shows a 55% reduction in using VortexPrime over conventional methods, which require 20 frac pumps instead of VortexPrime’s 8 turbine frac pumps. This technology also lowers greenhouse gas equivalent emissions up to 40% and reduces waste up to 99%.

Catalyst Energy Services is an emerging stimulation service company specializing in hydraulic fracturing treatment. Its VortexPrime technology ushers in a new era of innovation in the industry. For more information about VortexPrime, visit https://catalystenergyservices.com/products/.    


About Catalyst Energy Services

Catalyst Energy Services started with the idea that technology is the key to the future. We take the stewardship of preserving our world’s resources seriously and are dedicated to constantly innovating our sector of the energy industry to achieve cleaner, safer, and optimized production. Built by an accomplished executive team with over 100 years of hands-on experience in the field, engineering, and business management, we are an emerging stimulation service company specializing in hydraulic fracturing treatment.


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