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Until this century, energy producers had not yet figured out how to tap economically the vast amounts of oil and natural gas that were known to exist in shale and other “tight” rock formations. But by 2040 unconventional and other technology-driven sources of oil and gas are expected to meet about one-fifth of the world’s energy needs. The growing development of unconventional oil and gas resources through hydraulic fracturing has prompted public interest.

Hydraulic fracturing environment and safety

As the world’s largest public natural gas producer, ExxonMobil brings supplies of this cleaner-burning energy source to global markets in a safe, reliable, and responsible manner.

Hydraulic fracturing technology

Extracting natural gas from certain formations, including shale, tight sandstones, and coal beds, requires drawing the resource through openings about one half the width of a human hair.