Launched by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) in 2009, Energy In Depth (EID) is a research, education and public outreach campaign focused on getting the facts out about the promise and potential of responsibly developing America’s onshore energy resource base – especially abundant sources of oil and natural gas from shale and other “tight” reservoirs across the country. It’s an effort that benefits directly from the support, guidance and technical insight of a broad segment of America’s oil and natural gas industry, led in Washington by IPAA, but directed on the ground by our many affiliates — and IPAA’s more than 6,000 members — in the states.
What’s so new about harvesting oil and natural gas from rocks deep underground? Not a whole lot, actually. First you need to drill a well, then you complete that well via the hydraulic fracturing process. Our industry has been doing those two things for decades, with fracturing technology safely applied to more than 1.2 million wells over the past 60 years.
But there’s one little wrinkle when it comes shale: To make it economical to explore, you have to somehow find a way to access a greater share of the reservoir underground by drilling fewer wells. That’s where horizontal drilling technology comes in, allowing producers today to tap roughly 10 times the amount of energy we did in the past with – get this! – one-tenth the number of wells. Obviously, that’s good for the environment: fewer wells means less disturbance to land. But fewer wells are also good for business. Those things are really expensive.
On this site, you’ll find fact sheets and videos and charts and graphs — some boiling down the steps involved in the development process, others straightening out the myths you may have heard about what we do and how we do it. You’ll find letters and quotes from state and federal regulators testifying to the safety of the process – from drilling and completing the well, to managing and recycling the water, to bringing that well-site back to its original condition. And you’ll also find studies – some on jobs, others on safety, and even a few about how the shale “revolution” in the United States is impacting our “friends” in Russia and Iran.
So welcome to EID. Feel free to take your coat off and stay a while. And don’t hesitate to give our supporting members a shout as well – their links and logos are included here below.