The US energy industry is one of the largest in the world. However, for a long time, this industry has been on the brink of experiencing a major decline in its overall output, especially in 1981. With the advent of new techniques, which are the fruits of hard work showcased by scientists, the industry is once again thriving.
One of the new techniques that have revolutionized oil and gas exploration in the country is fracking. The practice, which entails cracking open underground formations by water, sand and chemicals to access oil and gas. The practice has been lauded by experts as simple and highly effective. As a result, anybody who debates about banning it should make a second thought and weigh the consequences and benefits of the decision.
Fracking is also referred to as hydraulic fracturing by many people. Oil and gas explorers use a combination of fracking and horizontal drilling to maximize their search. The technique involves drilling underground rocks and safely tapping the shale vertically for some miles before moving horizontally and then vertically again for thousands of feet. Perforations are then made on the drilled wells through the horizontal compartments of the pipes. A mixture of water, sand and additives is released at a high pressure to create small fractures, which lead to oil and gas formations.
Fracking now accounts for 56% of United States’ oil and gas production. The practice has lowered the country’s dependence on others for oil. Consequentially, the price of oil has reduced significantly, and this has trickled down to the cost of basic commodities. Also, as fracking becomes more popular, the price of natural gas drops. For the past two decades, the price of natural gas in the country has dropped by 50% due to fracking. Gas bills have gone down by $13 billion per year between 2007 and 2015 due to this practice.
All regions in the country are experiencing the economic benefits of fracking. People who live in cold areas can now use shale gas to enhance space heating without having to spend hundreds of dollars in paying electricity bills. Consumer benefits have increased with some states such as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas reporting $400 benefits per head. Also, the method has enabled the country to tap huge barrels of oil that were previously locked away. With the method, the country has become one of the largest oil producers in the world. It was named the largest oil producer in 2015.