The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Through the Lens: Fracking

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 31, 2011

What does hydraulic fracturing look like? The slideshow embedded below takes an up-close look at fracking - the breakthrough technologies and procedures used to produce natural gas from shale rock formations thousands of feet below the surface.

My favorite photo: A detail shot of sand grains in a worker's palm. Fracking fluid is 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand and 0.5 percent chemicals. Once the rock is fractured, sand in the mixture keeps the cracks open so natural gas can escape and be collected. The term "hydraulic fracturing" sounds pretty traumatic, but cracks in the rock are no bigger than the grains of sand.

To learn more, visit the Energy From Shale website.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.