by the Texas Natural Gas Now Team
With Father's Day right around the corner, what better way for Texas Natural Gas Now to celebrate than to thank the father of natural gas shale drilling, George Mitchell.
George Mitchell was born in Galveston, Texas and graduated from A&M University with a degree in petroleum engineering. He later started an independent oil and gas company, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. and it became a Fortune 500 company.
But, there is so much more to Mitchell’s story. Starting in the 1980’s Mitchell Energy & Development pioneered the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Mitchell’s technology advancement opened a new horizon for oil and gas developers everywhere
According to Forbes, “the father of natural gas shale drilling, George Mitchell was the first to use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking to crack open the Barnett shale field in Texas. He opened the door to development of shales worldwide.”
“Mitchell fought through waves of skepticism and opposition to extract natural gas from shale. The method he and his team used to release the trapped gas, called fracking, has paid off in the most immense way,” according to a recent article from Slate.
How has the process of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling paid off, you might ask? With these new technologies, natural gas producers are able to unlock the vast amounts of natural gas that are kept in the shale rock, miles below the earth's surface. This means more production of cleaner natural gas, right here in the USA.
In fact, natural gas is produced in 32 states across the U.S. and in all but 27 counties in Texas. Don’t blink twice, you read that right. Texas is the nation’s leading natural gas producing state, providing about 30 percent of natural gas that the U.S. produces today.
It doesn’t surprise us at all to know that a native Texan would develop the technology that would unlock this hidden energy secret. So, while you are spending time with your father this weekend, take a moment to appreciate the father of shale drilling and his contribution to natural gas development.
Happy Father’s Day!
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