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Hail shale!

Owen Canfield Modified: June 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm •  Published: June 14, 2013

Discovering a way to extract oil from shale formations continues to transform the U.S. energy industry.

The latest Statistical Review of World Energy, issued annually by BP PLC, showed crude oil production in the United States increased an eye-popping 14 percent last year.

The 8.9 million barrels per day produced last year outpaced the previous year by 1.04 million barrels per day. That’s the largest one-year jump in U.S. history — well above the previous record increase of 640,000 barrels per day in 1967.

President Barack Obama is sure to look for ways to credit his energy policies for this gain in the oil patch, but the truth is hydraulic fracturing is most responsible. This process of injecting water and chemicals forces oil out of dense shale formations once thought to be impermeable.

It’s American ingenuity at its best, and it’s paying big dividends.


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