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The Boom

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The Boom

How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

Wall Street Journal Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Though controversial, fracking put the US on the road to energy independence.

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Background


The saga of how hydraulic fracking changed US energy production features charismatic wildcatters and the science and history of oil and gas exploration. Masterful reporter Russell Gold’s narrative, for good or ill, gets somewhat flooded in minute – though fascinating – details of the history of oil fields, specific wells, exacting particulars about gas and oil exploration tools and materials, and personal anecdotes about meetings with industry honchos and engineers. Gold writes so smoothly, the river of information will carry you along. getAbstract recommends his thorough, professional overview to people interested in fracking and its impact on the energy industry and the environment – as long as they’re capable of patient fascination.


The New Energy Order

The owners of undeveloped land in Pennsylvania were surprised to receive an energy company’s unsolicited offer of $400,000, plus royalties, to drill on their land for natural gas. They had never heard of the company, Oklahoma’s Chesapeake Energy, and the area where it wanted to drill was useless to local farmers. Unbeknownst to the landowners, their farmland sat on the Marcellus Shale formation, running from New York to Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The owners discovered that Chesapeake was the largest well driller in the world, with a 2002 annual budget of more than $20 billion. Every year, Chesapeake drills upward of 1,000 wells, using fracking to unleash trapped natural gas from inside rock – mostly shale – formations, some of which are a mile deep.

Chesapeake and the other entrepreneurial frackers that first exploited such untapped reserves were independent firms, not global energy giants, such as Exxon or Mobil. Chesapeake took risks to make its wells profitable. The gas lay beneath suburban housing developments and remote, rocky farms. Once discovered, its abundance upset expectations about available energy from nuclear and...

About the Author

Russell Gold reports on energy in The Wall Street Journal. His coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill earned a Gerald Loeb Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Comment on this summary

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    Ð. Ð. 7 years ago
    You can be translated into Russian ?
    • Avatar
      7 years ago
      Уважаемый читатель,
      Предлагаем Вам познакомиться с изложениями других книг на ту же тему:

      -- Противостояние всемирному коллапсу. Неизбежность финансового и энергетического кризиса в эпоху сокращения мировых запасов нефти
      -- Топливный голод. Мифы о “зеленой” энергетике и правда об энергоносителях будущего
      -- Третья промышленная революция. Как горизонтальные взаимодействия меняют энергетику, экономику и мир в целом

      Мы будем Вам признательны, если Вы поделитесь с нами своими идеями о том, что включить в нашу русскую библиотеку, на специальной странице "Предложите книгу".

      Русская редакция getAbstract

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