Hydraulic fracturing—commonly known as “fracking”—is in the news a lot. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s not that new.
Hydraulic fracturing—a technique to break up the rocks deep inside the Earth to help get the oil and natural gas flowing—has been used in more than 100 000 wells in Alberta since the 1950s. In fact, most of the natural gas in Alberta is extracted using hydraulic fracturing. What’s new is that improvements in technology have made it possible to combine horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing; this prompts questions from Albertans about whether the public and the environment are being protected.
To learn more about how hydraulic fracturing is used and how the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) makes sure it’s being done safely, watch the Conversations that Matter video below.
Other Conversations that Matter videos can be viewed on the AER’s YouTube channel.