<p>Flares from newly completed natural gas wells paint an arresting image in the Pennsylvania sky.</p><p>But the fiery scene above ground—a controlled test burn-off of initial gas that takes place at some wells for several days—is not as dramatic as what is happening a mile beneath the surface. Producers are using high-volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to unlock a natural gas resource that geologists have known about for 75 years.</p><p>Read article: "<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/101022-energy-marcellus-shale-gas-science-technology-water/" target="_blank">Forcing Gas Out of Rock With Water</a>"</p>

Lighting a New Path

Flares from newly completed natural gas wells paint an arresting image in the Pennsylvania sky.

But the fiery scene above ground—a controlled test burn-off of initial gas that takes place at some wells for several days—is not as dramatic as what is happening a mile beneath the surface. Producers are using high-volume hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to unlock a natural gas resource that geologists have known about for 75 years.

Read article: "Forcing Gas Out of Rock With Water"

Photograph by Scott Goldsmith, National Geographic

The Science of Shale Gas

By combining and super-charging old oil field technologies, U.S. energy industry innovators unlocked the natural gas found in deep shale rock—paving the way for a rush on the huge Marcellus shale formation that underlies Pennsylvania.

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