How does fracking differ from current natural gas extraction methods?
Fracking uses high pressure water to break apart rock, releasing the natural gas, whereas typical extraction methods use only drilling.
The fracking process involves drilling both vertically and horizontally into shale to release natural gas. After drilling, water laced with chemicals is pumped into the drill shafts at high pressure to split the rock.
Typical natural gas extraction does not use this high pressure water to split rock. Instead, companies drill into pockets of natural gas that are trapped beneath the earth and splitting rock is not needed.
While conventional or standard practices may have to split rock initially in order to drill, these methods do not use water containing chemicals to split apart the rock further.