In Oklahoma, Fracking May Have Damaged Hundreds Of Traditional Vertical Wells

Sep 24, 2017

Credit Environmental Protection Agency / Public Domain

A new oil and gas study suggests that hundreds of traditional vertical oil wells in Oklahoma have been damaged by more recently drilled horizontal wells, dug for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

As StateImpact reports, the study by the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance reveals that horizontal drilling and fracking may have damaged 450 older vertical wells in Kingfisher County alone. Since Spindletop, oil has traditionally been extracted from the earth using vertical drilling methods.

But the newer technique of “fracking” drastically increases production by using directional bits that drill long wells that run horizontal to the earth’s surface. This can wreak havoc on the production of any vertical wells operating in the region above the horizontal well. The commission has created a new method for operators to report damage from nearby horizontal wells.