Fracking Keeps Getting More And More Efficient

Reuters/Jim Urquhart

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Think America’s energy boom is over? Guess again.

New government data released Thursday shows hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil has become a lot more efficient in the last eight years.

The average new fracking well in every region studied is producing more oil than previous wells, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA attributes this to the “increasing prevalence of hydraulic fracturing [fracking] and horizontal drilling.”

Source: Energy Information Administration

Source: Energy Information Administration

The increased efficiency of fracking is holding U.S. oil production levels relatively constant, despite the declining investment caused by low oil prices. The total number of rigs in selected regions across the country dropped by 64 percent, from a high of 1,309 rigs in October 2014 to only 475 in December 2015. This huge decline in the number of rigs only caused an 8 percent drop in production according to the EIA report.

Source: Energy Information Administration

Source: Energy Information Administration

America surpassed Russia’s production last year as the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of oil and natural gas. Oil production last year was 80 percent higher than it was in 2008 due to ever-increasing efficiency. The United States produced an average of about 9.3 million barrels of crude oil per day last June.

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