Blogs » The nature of things » Waterless fracking is catching on


The Eagle Ford Shale has been thundering through South Texas for the past couple of years, and a big reason the play is even happening is the use of slant drilling and hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) to unlock oil and natural gas from the shale formation.

However, Texas has also been caught in the grips of one of the worst droughts this state has seen in decades, leading some to be concerned over the hundreds of gallons of water being pumped into the shale formation. When drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale, the pressure is so low that most of the water pumped into the ground stays there, lost, for all practical intents and purposes (drinking, farming, ect.)

Enter waterless fracking, a type of fracking that uses propane to get the wells flowing, according to an article from StateImpact Texas .

Waterless fracking didn't get much traction at first, but with the drought threatening to drag on, it's becoming an increasingly attractive alternative, according to the story.

It's still in the early stages of development, so much so that there aren't any rules governing whether fracking is done with water or propane, but if the drought keeps on and the Eagle Ford Shale play stays active, it could be one way to cut back on all the water it takes to get oil and natural gas out of all of those wells.