noun: the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)
“In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie set an example in August when he vetoed a bill that would permanently ban fracking, then approved a one-year moratorium so his state could consider the results of federal studies.” — ScientificAmerican.com, October 12, 2011
“Nationally, the transport of oil by rail is on a steep upward trajectory, largely due to fracking in North Dakota and drilling in Canada’s Alberta tar sands.” — Jayni Foley Hein, Grand Forks Herald, May 25, 2014
Did you know?
Hydraulic fracturing is a technique in which a liquid is injected under high pressure into a well in order to create tiny fissures in the rock deep beneath the earth which then allow gas and oil to flow into the well. The term “hydraulic fracturing” is first known to have appeared in print in a 1948 issue of Oil & Gas Journal. A 1953 issue of the same journal also contains the earliest known print use of “fracking.” The word “fracking” (sometimes spelled “fraccing” or “fracing,” particularly by those in the gas and oil industries) was created by shortening “fracturing.” The addition of the “k” brings the word into conformity with the inflected forms of similar English words ending in a vowel plus “c,” such as “shellacking,” “panicking,” and “frolicking.”