What is fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing -- commonly referred to as "fracking" -- is the process of hitting shale or other rock with high-powered blasts of fluid. First, wellbore is drilled into the layer of rock. Once this access hole has been established, the pressurized fluid -- usually a slurry of water, sand, and chemicals -- is shot against the rock. The impact of this fluid causes fissures to form, opening new channels for the fracturing slurry to probe and releasing the stored gas in the process.