A History of Shale Gas in the US

The Humble Rock
Shale, a word that has become a household name in recent years. Who knew that such a humble sedimentary rock would become so famous? Well, for starters the miners who lived in the east coast of the US knew as far back as the early part of the 19th century. The name of the town is Fredonia, and it is the first known site where shale gas was extracted way back in 1821. But that was from a shallow well. The technology just didn’t exist in those days and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that fairly serious shale gas mining took place. But even those wells were from natural fractures beneath the soil. Therefore, the quantities produced were nothing to write home about and shale gas remained a marginal product. Furthermore, Federal tax breaks stopped by the late 1990’s, rendering shale gas to just a few wells.

The Fracking Revolution
Then something big happened by the mid-2000’s. It was called Hydraulic Fracturing and the gas industry never looked back. This new technology allowed for very efficient artificial fractures to extract the gas from shale. The Fracking boom we saw in recent years was the direct result of this new technology. The basic idea behind hydraulic fracturing is quite simple. Send pressurized water into the shale, which cracks it. Oil and gas will flow freely in the water, which then can be pumped back to the surface. The roots of hydraulic fracturing go back to the 1940’s when an experimental project was done to show its possibilities. However, fracking still had to wait a few decades to go mainstream. Showing numbers is the best way to show the impact of Fracking. In 1996 shale gas was under 2% of all gas produced in the US. In 2010 it was 23%!

Cunningham Energy
Cunningham Energy is a producer of oil and gas based in Charleston, West Virginia. The company has been an independent producer of oil and gas since 2008. The company prides itself on being a responsible producer of oil and gas. Cunningham’s main area of interest is in the Appalachian, Williston and Illinois basins. However, Cunningham Energy is not only limited to oil and gas exploration. They also provide rentals for oil field equipment such as:

• Drilling Rigs
• Work-over Units
• Rouster Pickup Trucks
• Tractors and Trailer
• Bulldozers
• Vacuum Water Trucks
• Plugging Wells
And more oil extraction related equipment services.