Hydraulic Fracturing Celebrates 65th Anniversary

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Hydraulic fracturing turned 65 on March 17, spurring industry stakeholders to simultaneously reflect on the past and look forward to the future, according to Chem Rock Technologies.

Producers will have to maintain oilfield efficiency in the future.

'Americans have long been energy pioneers, from the 1800s when the first wells were drilled to today,' API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito said in a press release.

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about hydraulic fracturing is that it's a new practice spurred by the advancement in oil producing technologies. While technological evolution has been able to spur growth and improvement in this area, the process itself is actually quite old. In fact, it just celebrated its 65th birthday.

This week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) celebrated the birthday of the technology in grand fashion, complete with a card and a social media campaign, according to a press release from the organization. The milestone anniversary showcases that professionals in the industry have been innovating in this space for some time, but it really is evidence of the United States' passion for improving energy production.

"Americans have long been energy pioneers, from the 1800s when the first wells were drilled to today," API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito said in a press release. "As part of that history, on March 17, 1949, we developed the technology to safely unlock shale and other tight formations, and now the U.S. is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas."

While hydraulic fracturing is a symbol of forward thinking in the energy industry, those responsible for this week's celebration are certainly acknowledging the past. The card shows images that date back to the early days of the technology to see how far we have come. Milito understands this, stating that because of hydraulic fracturing, "we can produce more energy, with a smaller environmental footprint – changing America's energy trajectory from scarcity to abundance. He added that "This is a birthday worth celebrating."

Texas enjoys sustainable growth due to hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing has helped the oil and gas boom in a number of states, including Texas. The state has been known for its up and down success in the energy market, with booms shortly being followed by busts, but many suggest its current success could be sustainable for the foreseeable future.

Texas' growth has been significant over the past four to five years. In 2009, the state averaged less than 1.1 million barrels of oil per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That number has risen substantially. This past December, Texas averaged 2.9 million barrels of oil production per day.

Why is this growth sustainable? Most producers agree that the improvements made in hydraulic fracturing technology have allowed more efficient oilfield practices, increasing productivity and profitability. If the projections are true and the state's recent success continues into the future, producers and those impacted by the state's economic condition have the 65-year-old innovation to thank.

So what's in store for the next 65 years?

While this week was a good time to take a moment and reflect on the advancements made in oilfield technology, no one in the industry can afford to settle. Complacency is not an option. Producers will have to look for new ways to advance the technology and make the most of the country's natural resources. Texas will have to do this to avoid a potential bust.

Chem Rock Technologies is proud to help with this effort. Our innovative fracturing chemicals enable well operators to improve formation fracturing and production performance, providing the efficiency and growth that will carry the industry to a successful future.

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