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Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking") FAQs - 18 Found

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How much water does the typical hydraulically fractured well require?

There may not be a “typical” fractured well because the water used depends on the rock formation, the operator, whether the well is vertical or horizontal, and the number of portions (or stages) of the well that are fractured. In addition, some water is recycled from fluids produced by the well so the net consumptive use may be smaller at sites that do not recycle.

Examples of average reported water usage per well include:

  • Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania, 4.5 million gallons (Risser, 2012, USGS Public Lecture, "Shale gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes")
  • Wattenburg Sandstone, Colorado, 2.7 million gallons (Goodwin and others, 2012, Oil and Gas Journal)
  • Barnett Shale, Texas, 2.8 million gallons (Nicot and Scanlon, 2012, Environmental Science and Technology)
  • Eagle Ford Shale, Texas, 4.3 million gallons (Nicot and Scanlon, 2012, Environmental Science and Technology)
  • Haynesville Shale, Texas, 5.7 million gallons (Nicot and Scanlon, 2012, Environmental Science and Technology)
  • Bakken Formation, North Dakota, 1.5 million gallons (S. Haines, 2012, USGS personal communication)
  • Horn River Shale, British Columbia, Canada, 15.8 million gallons (Horn River Basin Producers Group, 2010).

Learn more:

Visit the USGS Energy Resources Program main hydraulic fracturing page.

Science or Soundbite? Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes

Tags: Fracking, Hydraulic Fracturing, Oil and Gas Drilling