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Millions of liters of water are delivered by tanker or pipeline
A highly pressurized mixture of sand, water and chemicals is injected into the well
Natural gas flows to the surface
Recovered wastewater is stored in pits before being treated or re-injected into aquifers
Storage and processing tanks
Natural gas is piped or trucked to market
Fresh water table
Shale gas well
Wells are drilled deep below the earth’s surface, piercing through pristine aquifers, to reach the shale rock beds.
Subterranean freshwater aquifer
Wellbore is lined with steel and concrete
Gas flows out of the shale and into the wellbore
Shale rock bed
The wells are then lines with concrete and steel, after which a perforating gun shoots small holes, along the horizontal section of the well, through the casing and cement into the shale. After ‘perfing’ is complete, a highly pressurized mixture of water, sand and chemicals is sent down the well causing the shale rock to crack. Sand holds the fissures open as gas flows up the well to be separated from the chemicals and water.