“Fracking has been going on in the UK for decades.”
The technique causing such controversy is known as High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF), or ‘fracking’ for short. This requires millions of gallons of fresh water, sand and chemicals, is done at very high pressure in vertical and horizontal wells, and is designed to fracture solid rock deep underground.
It is a very different process from the long-used technique of pumping water at low pressure into conventional wells to increase the amount of oil and gas recovered.
“Cuadrilla is so far the only operator in the UK to use High Volume hydraulic fracturing – this technique was used on the Preese Hall well in Lancashire in 2011.” – Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
High Volume fracking is completely new to the UK. It was developed in the US over the last 10 to 20 years, and it’s only since 2007 that all the required techniques have been used together. So some of it’s impacts are only just coming to light…
More comprehensive information and references can be found here.