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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been at the center of much debate in the past decade. The process has had an enormous impact on the energy industry in the US, particularly with regard to natural gas markets. Natural gas will continue to play an important role in the energy future of the US, necessitating responsible developments in the oil and gas industry that will offer potential economic, energy security and environmental benefits across the country. The process of fracking was first discovered in the year 1866, by a Civil War veteran named Edward Roberts. Roberts observed artillery rounds being launched into the battlefield during the war and came up with an idea of creating a concentrated explosion of sorts inside of an oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. During this process, the "Roberts Torpedo" was lowered into the well to the spot (or as close to it as possible) where it was thought it should be exploded. The purpose of this was to fill the borehole with water in order to fracture the oil strata. The technique was extremely successful, and production from the initial wells increased production by over 1,000% shortly after being "shot." By 1868, nitroglycerin began to be used rather than black powder, even though it had a higher incidence of fatality.

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