HOUSTON, Texas — The fracking boom may prove to be twice as lucrative as investors initially thought–many U.S. gas and oil producers are starting re-fracking efforts on wells that sunk at least three years ago.
Refracking has been made possible thanks to new technological developments in the tech-driven drilling industry.
Canada’s Encana Corp has been at the forefront of this practice, and has already spent $2 million to refrak Louisiana-based shale formations, according to Reuters. A senior manager at Encana reportedly said, “There were a significant number of wells that we considered unstimulated.”
Fracking includes blasting water, sand, and other chemicals. The refracking process used by Encana involves blocking previous fractures with plastic balls. The balls, also known as diverting agents, are pumped along with water into the old drilling sites. At this point, the process is thought to be less precise than fracking a new well.
Reuters reported that Encana spent $1 million refracking each well; this is significantly less than the $12 million per well that the company shelled to in 2012. If refracking’s benefits prove to be significant and cost effective, Encana plans to use the practice in Texas on the Eagle Ford Shale.
Other companies, such as Exco Resources, are also at the forefront of refracking. Exco is reportedly going to use refracking on hundreds of its old “vintage” wells.
Many critics of fracking vehemently claim that is has a negative impact on the environment, but others claim those assertions cannot be fully justified. Fox Business Network’s John Stossel–an advocate of fracking–pointed out that “for those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil and coal helps reduce CO2 emissions.”
Fracking additionally lowers the cost of natural gas and could help make the U.S. energy independent.
The humming gas an oil industry has further allowed Texas to thrive and become an economic powerhouse. Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the phenomenon involving young people ditching California and its anti-business policies in favor of Texas, where young people are getting rich in gas and oil. New drilling technology has shifted the focus of the oil industry, and provided an ideal opportunity for millenials to enter the scene. The exploding industry has created a job market where millenials can put a variety of skill sets to use.
So long as the growing gas and oil industry remains largely unregulated, fracking will likely allow Texans, and consumers around the U.S., to prosper for decades to come.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.