Here is Brian Ellis from Michigan University Engineering with a look at the technology of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling – the innovations that recently pushed US oil production near the 10 million barrel per day mark.
I’m putting this up, rather than other, often excellent film clips showing people lighting water from their kitchen taps because the scale of shale oil and gas production has become so large. There really is a huge tradeoff between current employment and business activity and long term environmental effects.
Price, rather than environmental concerns, are likely to be the crucial factor in any scaleback.
At the same time, there is the possibility of further technical advance in the US shale oil and gas technologies, advances which may push extraction prices lower, giving the industry a longer lease during what may be a year or more of lower oil prices.
Fracking and its possible dynamics are critical to a lot of business activity and, thus, forecasting in the US.