Hydraulic Fracturing Timeline

1947

  • Halliburton performs first experimental fracturing operation.

1974

  • Safe Drinking Water Act is signed into law (by the EPA) however, this law doesn’t regulate hydraulic fracturing.

1979

  • First exploration work takes place in Barnett Shale.

1985

  • Horizontal completions introduced in tight sandstone.

1995

  • EPA disregards the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation’s (LEAF) petition and determines that hydraulic fracturing does not fall within the definition of “underground injection” under the SDWA.

2003

  • EPA’s Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to remove diesel from fluid systems used in wells.
  • The Barnett Shale development begins.

2003-2005

  • Marcellus, Woodford, Fayetteville, Haynesville shale discoveries begin.

2004

  • The first exploratory well is drilled within the Marcellus shale.

2005

  • Energy Policy Act (EPACT) excludes hydraulic fracturing as an underground injection; hydraulic fracturing still not regulated by the EPA.

2009

  • Marcellus shale natural gas output reaches 1 billion cubic feet a day.
  • Eagle Ford Shale discovery begins.
  • The House Appropriations Committee request additional studies from the EPA.

2012

  • EPA draft report notes water contamination in Pavillion, WY, finding methane, benzene, and other organic compounds; however, these wells are unusually shallow and cannot be generalized to all fracking wells.
References