Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

3. A mix of water and chemicals is injected at high pressure to fracture the shale. Sand is included to keep the cracks open.

By Brian O'Keefe, assistant managing editor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated April 16 2012: 6:54 AM ET
Join the Conversation
America's energy job machine is heating up

Deep-sea drilling and fracking are helping to unearth abundant supplies of oil and gas. The coming energy renaissance could be just the elixir the U.S. economy needs.