The horizontal drilling, not fracking, of deep underground shale to tap the entrapped oil and natural gas is today's real technological wonder in the oil industry, says Dave Blackmon at Forbes magazine.

Blackmon: "... the real marvel is the innovation that has take place in the realm of Horizontal Drilling.  

"Think about what this advancement has meant just in terms of access to the resources:  When drilling into a hydrocarbon bearing formation 100 feet thick, vertical drilling would allow an operator to contact 100 feet of rock, which would limit your potential recovery to whatever oil or gas would flow into that length of pipe. Horizontal Drilling now allows these same operators to drill and set pipe for a mile or more horizontally through this same rock formation.  

"You are now contacting and 'Fracking' 5,200 feet of rock rather than 100 feet, which multiplies expected well recovery rates many times over.

" The technology employed is so advanced and exacting that drillers today can hit a target at the end of a drill string that is 10,000 feet vertical with a mile long horizontal section that is no more than a few inches in diameter"

Read Blackmon's column here.