As fossil fuels continue to become increasingly scarcer, energy producers have endeavored to find new sources or methods for capturing natural gas and oil deposits. This includes fracturing, or fracking, as it is more widely known.
In the 1990s, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) began releasing estimates of very large deposits of natural gas and some oil that were trapped in shale rock formations across the United States. Energy producers didn’t act on these deposits initially, because there were no cost efficient means to extract them. However, by the late 1990s and early 2000s, two factors in the energy industry combined to attract producers to these deposits. First, fracturing, or fracking was developed, and provided a cost effective method for extracting the gas. Second, the price of natural gas increased, which made accessing these deposits even more attractive and worth the cost.