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Hydraulic fracturing, illustration

Hydraulic fracturing, illustration

F012/8287

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Credit

JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JUAN GAERTNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique usually used to extract gas from shale deposits. It uses a mixture of sand, chemicals and water pumped under high pressure through horizontal wells (bottom) to form fissures in the shale. The sand keeps the fissures open, allowing the gas to flow into the well and be taken to the surface.

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