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Exploration and Production (E&P) Technology in the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry
The Miracle of Shale Production
Advances in hydraulic fracturing have allowed firms to tap large resource plays, such as tight gas and shale oil that had been previously uneconomic.

Bakken:  How Fracks Look in Practice
The image to the left gives an indication of how much of the reservoir volume around a shale oil horizontal lateral is contacted using the multistage fracking process. The white lines represent drilled wellbores.  The blue lines represent identified fractures created by the hydraulice fracking process.  One of the technology develoopment focus areas in the shale plays is to fill in all the black space between the blue areas. This imperative, explains the trend towards more stages per lateral, and shorter distances between stages.