Fracturing fear

Memo to the people of France: With reference to the fear to which Parliament sacrificed your energy and economic interests last year, please disregard. In the United States, which has more practical and political experience with the procedure, hydraulic fracturing looks increasingly like something over which people and governments need not panic. To the oil and gas industry, of course, fracing has never been a source of immobilizing terror. Producers have fractured wells for decades without hurting anything. Now, though, the technique has become crucial to development of low-permeability reservoirs. In North America, frac jobs are growing in number, size, and complexity. They're part of a...

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