Shale Oil – The Rush for Black Gold

Published on Nov 19, 2011

One of America’s biggest energy challenges is foreign oil dependency. The U.S. imports about half the oil it uses, putting the nation’s energy security at risk and costing hundreds of billions of dollars per year. New drilling innovations are unlocking vast new reserves and boosting local economies. But is the new drilling also forcing a tough choice between oil and water in drought-stricken Texas?

This week, energyNOW! explores the latest U.S. oil boom. Black Gold From Shale Rock The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in shale rock formations is opening up previously unrecoverable oil, just as those technologies did for natural gas. It’s driving a boom in U.S. energy production and creating bright spots in a tough economy across America. Correspondent Patty Kim visits Williston, North Dakota, the site of America’s largest shale oil field and heart of the new oil rush, to check out life in an oil boom town.

Is The Oil Boom Worsening The Texas Drought? Texas is home to America’s second largest shale oil field, and business is booming – production has skyrocketed from under 1,000 barrels a day in 2004 to more than 8 million so far in 2011. But hydraulic fracturing in shale rock requires millions of gallons of water, a precious resource during one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. Anchor Thalia Assuras visits the Eagle Ford shale in Texas to see how rapidly expanding water use by energy companies is impacting the state.
Interview: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Fracking operations may be competing for water supplies in Texas, but they have also raised concerns about water safety in other parts of the country. Anchor Thalia Assuras sits down for a one-on-one interview with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to discuss pressing energy and environmental issues, including fracking.

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