The word “fracking” has come to mean drilling in general for oil and gas-- and a major concern for communities and environmentalists in Colorado and elsewhere. In reality the process of hydraulic fracturing is a specialized procedure used to create cracks in shale deposits thousands of feet underground which in turn releases trapped natural gas. There are hundreds of fracked wells in Garfield County. Often you can see them from the highway. Recently Aspen Public Radio got a tour of a fracking operation run by WPX Energy near Parachute. These photographs by APR's Roger Adams are of WPX Energy's H&R 318 rig and the man who work on it.
The men work ten twelve hour days on and two weeks off. The low salary on this site is around 70K per year while some of the highly technical positions pay as much as 250K. Most of these workers live in Grand Junction, CO.
To hear APR's Elise Thatcher's report on this site click HERE.
For more on WPX Energy click HERE.
For more on hydraulic fracturing and the public disclosure of fluids used in the process click HERE.