When the first known spring-pole well was drilled in the United States, Thomas Jefferson was president. With gravity and impact, using manila hemp rope and wooden rods, David and Joseph Ruffner achieved a well depth of 58 feet.
It was in the 1980s that the next literal breakthrough in drilling would take place: hydraulic fracturing. Horizontal drilling and fracking allow oil and gas drillers to reach and extract reserves that would otherwise be too technically difficult or economically impractical to explore.
These methods extend the scope of drilling operations from a single site beyond what is possible with multiple vertical wells. But with new technology and new capability came new challenges.
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