In recent years the United States has been undergoing a very significant and important transition, from a nation that relied on imported fuels and manufactured goods, to one that is producing them. Manufacturers in the U.S. are ramping up production and planning expansions. This growth brings with it a need for educating the general public on these developments much of which is thanks to shale oil and natural gas.

Although it may seem as if shale oil and natural gas are new, it’s far from it. In fact, it’s been around for more than 60 years and safely applied to more than 1.1 million oil and natural gas wells in the U.S. alone.

Hydraulic fracturing is an advanced technology to create tiny fissures in shale rock formations to allow the trapped oil and gas to flow out. It uses water pressure to create the fissures and sand particles to hold them open. The combination of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and computer imaging is the technology breakthrough which allows more precise fracturing of a much larger surface area.

AFPM’s Shale Energy Task Force has produced a number of publicly available educational tools, including several launched this week, to create awareness and to educate individuals about the impacts which shale energy has had on the manufacturing, refining and petrochemical industries. This suite of educational tools include:

• Shale 101 brochure
• Frequently Asked Questions
An American Renaissance Driven by Shale presentation with script
Fact sheets on shale development issues such as water use, air emissions, seismic activity, groundwater, water reuse/treatment/disposal, and fracturing fluids

These materials, and more, can be found on the shale development section of AFPM’s website.

Shale really is the rock that is changing the future!

Melissa Hockstad

Posted by Melissa Hockstad

Melissa Hockstad is the former Vice President of Petrochemicals for AFPM. To learn more about AFPM, visit