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Fracking the World: Despite Climate Risks, Fracking Is Going Global

Fracking the World: Despite Climate Risks, Fracking Is Going Global

'Fracking: it's happening' sign overlaid on a view of Earth from space

The U.S. exported a record 3.6 million barrels per day of oil in February. This oil is the result of the American fracking boom — and as a report from Oil Change International recently noted — its continued growth is undermining global efforts to limit climate change. The Energy Information Administration predicts U.S. oil production will increase again in 2019 to record levels, largely driven by fracking in the Permian shale in Texas and New Mexico.

And the U.S. is not alone in trying to maximize oil and gas production. Despite the financial failures of the U.S. fracking industry, international efforts to duplicate the American fracking story are ramping up across the globe. 

The CEO of Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco recently dismissed the idea that global demand for oil will decrease anytime soon and urged the oil industry to “push back on exaggerated theories like peak oil demand.”

But Saudi Aramco also is gearing up for a shopping spree of natural gas assets, including big investments in the U.S., and increasing gas production via fracking in its own shale fields. Aramco is deeply invested in keeping the world hungry for more oil and gas.

Khalid al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, told the Financial Times, “Going forward the world is going to be Saudi Aramco’s playground.” But not if other countries frack there first.

China Expanding Fracking Efforts, Testing New Technology

As a major importer of oil and natural gas, it is no surprise that China is trying to exploit its own shale formations, which are rich with oil and gas. China is estimated to have the largest shale gas reserves of any country. However, China’s shale formations present different challenges than those in the U.S., including gas deposits at significantly greater depths.

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