The Bakken is one of North America’s largest oil-rich shale plays. Longer horizontal well bores and widespread use of hydraulic fracturing spurred soaring production. North Dakota now ranks second among U.S. oil-producing states – and a large portion of the domestic drilling rig fleet will be retrofitted to walking or skidding systems by year-end. More than 70% of Bakken oil moves by rail tank car, giving crude-by-rail the leading role for getting Bakken production to market. Economic impacts are seen state-wide as North Dakota proudly claims the nation’s lowest unemployment and a per-person gross domestic output significantly higher than the national average.
The Northeast United States is sitting on massive stores of natural gas. As our need for cheap energy expands, shale is the logical answer. Expanded drilling activities and massive infrastructure build outs in the Marcellus-Utica shale play are fueling American employment opportunities and generating 18% of the nations gas supply.
Opponents say Hydraulic Fracturing (also called fracking) is dangerous, and causes lasting environmental damage. The energy industry says it's safe, tightly regulated and is the key technology that provides clean energy to the US. Who's right?