The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947. The modern fracturing technique, called ‘horizontal slickwater fracturing’, was first used in 1998.
It made the extraction of shale gas economical. The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized fluid creates new channels in the rock, which increases the extraction rates and recovery of hydrocarbons.
In 2010 it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured.
As of 2012, 2.5 million hydraulic fracturing jobs have been performed on oil and gas wells worldwide, more than one million of them in the United States.