A number of new approaches allows us to achieve minimal disruption of the natural environment. Horizontal drilling provides extra ability to leave subsurface areas untouched while being able to access larger amounts of the pay-zone as shown in the following illustration.
Horizontal-drilling
One of the more recent production advancements is horizontal drilling.  This technology is used in the United States to help produce more than 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The Hydraulic fracturing technology has been used since the 1940s in more than 1 million wells in the United States now used with horizontal drilling is responsible for substantial production increases.

Even though America has abundant natural gas resources, most cannot be produced without this technology. Studies estimate that up to 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing.

Following is a API video illustrating the process of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFWOBvYBLmU