Fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process consist primarily of 99.5% freshwater and sand.   The remaining 0.5% is highly diluted additives found in common household products and the food we eat. Each additional additive serves a specific purpose, from limiting growth of bacteria to preventing corrosion of the well casing, to providing viscosity to help unlock the resources trapped in the solid rock. The amounts of these additives are adjusted depending on the type of rock, its geology and specifics of the well location. Fluids are mainly comprised of the following ingredients:

  • Water and sand make up more than 99.5% of hydraulic fracturing fluid composition in essentially all cases.
  • Guar, made from beans, may be added to make the fluid more gel-like to help ensure effective delivery.
  • Inert nitrogen gas is sometimes added to reduce water usage and help the fluid travel down the narrow well faster.
  • Once the fluid is ready to be removed, an enzyme or oxidizer reverses the work of the guar, and thins its consistency.




In addition to the ingredients listed above, there are small amounts of additional additives that are used for very specific and critical uses in the extraction process. Central to Sanchez Energy’s commitment to safe and responsible shale development is our support of public disclosure of these additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process. We disclose the additives we use through, which is an online registry managed by the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). These two organizations represent state regulators responsible for protecting local fresh water supplies and oversight of our daily operations.