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Hydraulically Fractured (FRACKING) Wells

High Volume Hydraulically Fractured wells, are used particularly for shale gas extraction from shale rock formations but can sometimes be employed for deeper tight oil in less permeable strata . They are described by the industry and government as wells which:

  • are drilled below 1,000 metres, into more impermeable strata such as shales and deeper less porous sandstones.

  • use more than 10,000 cubic metres (10,000,000 litres or 2.2 million gallons) of fluids (Typically 4.4 million gallons) in the drilling process of each fracked well.

  • can be drilled UNDER protected sites but cannot be drilled from the surface of areas listed for environmental protection,  natural beauty, water protection zone or heritage site, unless it can be demonstrated that; the amount of fluids used is below the government definition of fracking; or both exceptional circumstances exist and such development is in the public interest.

  • can be excavated in multiple directions horizontally from each well pad covering one hectare  or more on permitted sites, extending under other properties and land without other landowner permissions.

  • may need to be fracked more than once to maximise flow and when flow becomes uneconomical, the well is decommissioned in favour of creating a new well from the same well pad. Normally up to 10 wells per well pad.


Above, Exploratory Gas Well sites UK