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Definition: hydraulic fracturing from Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary

A method of enhanced recovery of natural gas and petroleum. An aqueous solution of a water-soluble gum (e.g., guar), in which coarse sand or sintered bauxite is suspended, is introduced through a well bore under extremely high pressure into the rock structure in which the gas or oil is entrained. This creates minute fissures (fractures) in the rock, which are held open by the suspended particles after the liquid has drained off. The hydrocarbon flows through these fissures to the well bore and is evacuated to a pipeline. The sand and bauxite are called “proppants” by petroleum engineers as they prevent the fissures from closing. Sand is used in shallower wells and bauxite in formations over 10,000 ft deep.

See chemical flooding.


Summary Article: fracking
From Dictionary of Energy
Christopher Morris
Morris Books, Escondido, California
Second Edition Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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