‘Fracking\’ bringing on new oil boom

Date: February 28, 2011

By JONATHAN FAHEY AP Energy Writer

A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

Companies are investing billions to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half.

“That\’s a significant contribution to energy security,” says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.

Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method, known as “fracking,” developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.

Engineers thought the process wouldn\’t work to squeeze oil out fast enough to make it economical. But drillers learned how to increase the number of cracks in the rock and use different chemicals to free up oil at low cost.

“We\’ve completely transformed the natural gas industry, and I wouldn\’t be surprised if we transform the oil business in the next few years too,” says Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy.

Copyright: Times Leader

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.