A number of technologies that have significantly improved oil production in the past decade have originated from companies working in Oklahoma. The current wave of innovations followed a period when the fundamentals of operations had stayed unchanged for many years. A game changer involved the methods for undertaking hydraulic fracturing in tandem with horizontal drilling. This previously cost-prohibitive process has enabled natural gas and oil to be obtained from rock such as shale. Current innovations focus on refining these processes through environmental footprint and safety aspects of drilling.
Another area of focus is on reducing costs through automating and digitizing processes that previously were performed manually. For example, through a simple computer app, the amount of production related to each site can be recorded and tracked, expediting a process that formerly required hand recording and mailing to operators. With costs declining quickly, energy companies are able to invest more in the exploration side of business.