Fracking Turns 65 - Eagle Ford Shale Drilling Boom Made Possible by the Technology

Mission Well Services Frac Spread
Mission Well Services Frac Spread

On Monday, The American Petroleum Institute celebrated the 65th birthday of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The technology is widely used across the Eagle Ford Shale, and has contributed significantly to Texas's current oil boom, giving many folks connected to the oil and gas industry in the state reason to celebrate.

According to a University of Texas at San Antonio study, the development of the Eagle Ford Shale had an economic impact of $61 billion on the region in 2012. That's not a small figure, and estimates for future exploitation of the tight oil formation through fracking are only expected to go up.

At the beginning of March 2014, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released data placing the Eagle Ford at the head of the pack for oil production in Texas per well compared to six other U.S. domestic shale plays. The EIA credits horizontal drilling and fracking for the play's strong oil production.

Read more: Eagle Ford Leads Pack in Oil Production Per Well - EIA

Industry players and those connected to the industry maintain that fracking is safe.

At the 2014 NAPE Winter Business Conference, Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, said, “I believe hydraulic fracking is safe… there is not a single case where fracking has caused an environmental problem for anyone.

There is however strong opposition to fracking from some special interest groups, activists across the country and local residents living in areas impacted by the oil patch.

Since the drilling boom began in the Eagle Ford Shale, a steady up-tick in earthquakes in South Texas has been recorded. Scientists believe that could be linked to fracking and disposal and injection wells.

Read more: Eagle Ford Quakes Linked to Disposal and Injection Wells

As the Eagle Ford continues to be developed, the practice of fracking will continue to impact the state of Texas and those connected to the industry in multiple ways - economically, politically and environmentally.

The first commercial fracking job was in Duncan, Oklahoma on March 17, 1949, according to API.