When did hydraulic fracturing become such a popular approach to oil and gas production?

Hydraulic fracturing in vertical wells has been used for over fifty years to improve the flow of oil and gas from conventional reservoirs. However, the current practice of horizontal drilling coupled with multiple applications of hydraulic fracturing in a single well was pioneered in the late 1980s and has continued to evolve. Since the final years of the 20th century, the use of this technique to produce oil and gas from previously unproductive formations has dramatically increased, which has pushed hydraulic fracturing and related processes into regions where oil and gas had not previously been produced.

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Are other countries using hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction?

Yes, hydraulic fracturing is being used extensively in Canada and is increasingly being used in countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. Learn more: Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Earthquakes