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Oil producers face new challenges

Almost daily announcements of new oil fields and increased production from known areas promise the oil flows for decades to come. But it is still unclear how the new discoveries will affect the American and global economies.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: December 7, 2012
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Domestic oil production fell every year for almost 40 years until 2007.

It has increased since, and the EIA's latest forecast shows U.S. production in 2019 topping levels from 1990.

“The growth results largely from a significant increase in onshore crude oil production, particularly from shale and other tight formations,” the EIA report stated.

The oil and gas industry today faces a new challenge.

Finding oil is no longer the problem.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked vast amounts of dense, tight rock that oil companies have known about for decades, but previously had been unable to produce economically.

The question now is whether the companies have the infrastructure, manpower and public and political approval to continue expanding.

Pipelines, electricity and workers may not be cheap, but they are available for the right price.

Winning the public relations battle — especially in places such as Pennsylvania and California — could prove more difficult.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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