How petroleum and natural gas are recovered in North Dakota:
Marathon Oil Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing: This 7-minute video explains the process of hydraulic fracturing. Video courtesy of Marathon Oil.
Billions of barrels of oil and natural gas are trapped in rock far below the surface of the Williston Basin.
For many years, oil companies knew about this supply but were unable to get the oil out.
In 2006, the first successful Bakken well was drilled using a new technology called hydraulic (hi-DRAW-lik) fracturing.Hydraulic fracturing is the process of using pressurized water to fracture (break) cracks in deep underground rock so that trapped petroleum can be released. Hydraulic fracturing is also called fracking.
Horizontal wells are drilled in order to reach the pockets of trapped oil in North Dakota.