The figures behind the oil and gas industry in the United States are impressive. In 1999, the US produced 7.7 million barrels of oil per day and this grew to almost 9 million in 2012. The natural gas industry is also making powerful strides, boosted by the implementation of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking", the controversial shale gas extraction technique everyone seems to be talking about.
Natural gas production has reached 681 billion cubic meters, a noticeable increase on 539 billion cubic metres in 1998. Shale gas production has skyrocketed from 0.5 trillion feet in 2003 to 8.6 trillion cubic feet in 2013. Unsurprisingly, fracking has become big business with shale gas production projected to hit 16.7 trillion cubic feet by 2040. In 2012, there were over 45,000 fracking wells across the US.
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