Hydraulic fracturing - 'fracking' - is the energy story of the 21st century. This new technology means previously unrecoverable reserves of oil and gas can now be extracted. It has transformed the energy markets in the US, and led to huge new opportunities for investors. Below, we explain what fracking is, and explore the best ways to play this exciting story.
The fracking process explained in 30 seconds
Fracking for oil has made the US energy independent. Its effects have spread far beyond the energy markets, says John Stepek, shifting the global economy’s balance of power.
US natural-gas production will hit a record in 2018. Output should exceed 80 billion cubic feet per day, marking a 60% increase since 2005.
In trying to beat US shale oil producers, Opec has a serious fight on its hands. And it’s only going to get harder.
US shale oil producers may be able to keep oil prices in a range around current levels.
The oil price has had a good run lately. But with the industry undergoing fundamental changes, we won’t see $100 a barrel any time soon, says John Stepek.
The nascent UK fracking industry has suffered a major setback following Cuadrilla’s failed bid to drill four exploratory wells.