An Introduction to Hydraulic Fracturing


Hydraulic fracturing has become the completion method of choice in many parts of the world and is now the single largest sector of the upstream oil and gas industry, after offshore drilling. This often highly complex process has enabled many so-called uneconomic oil and gas resources to be successfully exploited commercially.

The discipline itself combines elements from mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, chemistry, geology, fluid mechanics, petroleum engineering, fracture mechanics, pressure transient analysis, heat transfer, stress analysis, computer simulation and rock mechanics. This makes it one of the most interesting and engaging of all the various oil and gas extraction processes for an engineer to be involved in.

This short course is intended as an introduction to the art and science of hydraulic fracturing—the processes involved, candidate selection, treatment design and post-treatment evaluation. It will also focus on two of the most active and innovative areas within hydraulic fracturing—unconventional gas and multi-stage horizontal wells.

The course is intended for people with an oil industry technical background, who wish to acquire a working knowledge of the processes involved in hydraulic fracturing, as well as the use of hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of tight and unconventional gas.


Tony Martin is director of offshore stimulation for Baker Hughes and is based in London. After graduating from Imperial College with an MS in petroleum engineering, he has spent the last 22 years involved in stimulation projects throughout the world. Martin is an SPE Distinguished Lecturer, an SPE Region Technology Award Winner and a UK Chartered Engineer. He is the author and co-author of numerous technical papers on acidizing, fracturing and sand control, and is co-editor of Modern Fracturing: Enhancing Natural Gas Production.  He is the author of the Baker Hughes Hydraulic Fracturing Manual and has been designated by Baker Hughes as a subject matter expert in the fields of hydraulic fracturing and stimulation.