The Trend

Even as U.S. natural gas production has soared, the surface area and environmental footprint needed to produce natural gas is shrinking thanks to innovative technology.

Doing More with Less

Traditional natural gas production meant drilling multiple wells spaced out over a wide area. But the introduction of safe and responsible horizontal drilling has allowed natural gas producers to develop energy from one site. Up to 20 wells that used to be spread out can now be clustered together. That not only reduces the environmental footprint needed for production but also the number of roads and infrastructure needed to support them.

Horizontal Drilling

Innovative technology, like horizontal drilling, is the key to making this increased efficiency possible. With horizontal drilling each well is developed down to the natural-gas bearing rock, often a mile or more below the surface, and then gradually turned horizontally. The wells then reach out laterally along the formation in multiple different directions. Production is increased even as the surface area needed for it is reduced by up to 90 percent.