Shale Plays in the Lower 48 States
“More than 4 million oil and gas related wells have been drilled in the United States since development of
these energy resources began nearly 150 years ago. At least 2 million of these have been hydraulically
fracture-treated, and up to 95 percent of new wells drilled today are hydraulically fractured, accounting
for more than 43 percent of total U.S. oil production and 67 percent of natural gas production.” —U.S.
Department of Energy, 2013 6
Hydraulic fracturing has been used in the oil and natural
gas industry since the 1940s, producing more than 700
trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 15 billion barrels of oil
since the practice began.7,
8 Used with modern horizontal
drilling technology, fracking has unlocked vast U.S. shale
reserves, launching a renaissance in oil and natural gas
production, creating millions of jobs and generating
economic growth. Without these advanced technologies,
we would lose approximately half of our domestic oil and
natural gas production, crippling our energy revolution.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports that
over 1,300 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable
shale and tight natural gas and 89 billion barrels 9 of
technically recoverable shale oil resources currently
exist in discovered shale and tight sandstone plays.
Responsibly developing these resources creates jobs
and fuels our economy.
“America has abundant natural resources and recent
innovations combined with horizontal drilling in shale
formations has unlocked vast new supplies of natural gas,
allowing the nation to get to the energy it needs today, and
transforming our energy future.” —Daniel Yergin, IHS vice