Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are the twin tanks of the shale revolution and it’s not just about gas; it’s about crude oil and security, too.
Yesterday’s Today In Energy post at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) site tells so much about the beauty and extent of the shale revolution. The combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling hasn’t just made the U.S. the leader in natural gas production that it now is, but has also made our nation far more energy secure in terms of crude oil as well. Hydraulic fracturing in tandem with horizontal drilling is a the kind of invention that historians will write about in the same way they once wrote about Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and Robert Fulton’s steamboat. We might well ask, in fact, what it can’t do for our energy security.
Yes, the same hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques that created a whole new natural gas industry in the U.S. have also created a shale revolution on the oil side, as this chart so vividly illustrates: