Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids

Hydraulic fracturing fluids are comprised of a combination of water, sand and chemicals that are injected at high pressure into a well to initiate and to expand fractures in the shale rock.

Water makes up approximately 90% and sand approximately 9.5% of the fluid; and chemicals the remaining .5% of the mixture.  The chemicals are used for various purposes, such as increasing the viscosity of the fluid; minimizing corrosion, or “propping” open fractures created by the fracturing process.   

A list of the chemicals typically used in the fracturing fluid is available at EnergyInDepth.org, showing the specific types and composition used varies based upon the state and the geology of the rock formation.   Companies also post the chemicals on a public website, FracFocus.

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