» more from The Natural Gas Game

The Well

Once a location has been selected for drilling, some from 4 to 6 acres of surface area will be leveled and cleared for drilling. The work site includes space for drilling equipment, a pit for drilling waste and an area for the massive amount of water to be used.

“It’s important to note that hydraulic fracturing is different that drilling,” says Duda. “The drilling comes first and then the fracking.”

Wells are drilled straight down to depths ranging from 6,000 feet to more than 14,000 feet, cutting through dozens of geological layers, including pockets of drinking water. The wellbore that’s drilled has steel casing and cement to contain water and chemicals designed to protect those drinking wells and other areas from contamination.

Photo: Range Resources