Full Title: Review of Emerging Resources: U.S. Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays
Author(s): Energy Information Administration
Publisher(s): Energy Information Administration
Publication Date: July 1, 2011
Full Text: Download Resource
The use of horizontal drilling in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing has greatly expanded the ability of producers to proﬁtably
recover natural gas and oil from low-permeability geologic plays—particularly, shale plays. Application of fracturing techniques
to stimulate oil and gas production began to grow rapidly in the 1950s, although experimentation dates back to the 19th century.
Starting in the mid-1970s, a partnership of private operators, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and predecessor agencies,
and the Gas Research Institute (GRI) endeavored to develop technologies for the commercial production of natural gas from the
relatively shallow Devonian (Huron) shale in the eastern United States. This partnership helped foster technologies that eventually
became crucial to the production of natural gas from shale rock, including horizontal wells, multi-stage fracturing, and slick-
water fracturing.1 Practical application of horizontal drilling to oil production began in the early 1980s, by which time the advent
of improved downhole drilling motors and the invention of other necessary supporting equipment, materials, and technologies
(particularly, downhole telemetry equipment) had brought some applications within the realm of commercial viability.