Backlight: Shale Cowboys

Current affairs - Politics Science - Technology
America, Oil, Shale, Shale Gas, Shale Oil, Trump
Nordin Lasfar
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Having your own sources of energy is an important weapon in the global economy. Since 2013 the United States are striking important blows against fossil-rich opponents such as Saudi Arabia with the extraction of shale gas and shale oil from their own soil. The price of a barrel of crude oil dropped from 100 dollars to less than 50. The Texan shale producers who survived this price war are the new heroes of the United States. Under ‘drill president’ Donald Trump the shale cowboys are eager to help Europe become energy-independent as well. An investigation in Trumpland.

In the past, shale rock was considered worthless by the oil and gas industry. They drilled through it to get to the valuable oil and gas deeper down. Until a small Texan gas company found a way in the late 1990’s to extract gas from the hard shale rock. By drilling deep holes in the soil’s rocky layers and shooting a large quantity of water and chemicals through them under high pressure, shale gas and shale oil are extracted. This method, later known as ‘fracking’, changed the energy market for good.