Fracking for shale oil and gas spurs manufacturing renaissance, improves energy security in the U.S

New book from RTI Press "Shale Oil and Gas: The Promise and the Peril" highlights pros and cons of the fast-changing energy source

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – "Shale Oil and Gas: The Promise and the Peril," a new book out today by RTI Press offers a comprehensive look at the rapidly changing field of oil and gas production brought on by the growth of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking". 

The book captures the effect of these new fuel sources on the U.S. economy and world oil prices, while also providing a look at the latest debates on water contamination and environmental regulations surrounding their extraction. 

Authored by Vikram Rao, Ph.D., executive director of the Research Triangle Energy Consortium, consultant for RTI International and globally recognized expert with more than 30 years of experience in energy research and development, "Shale Oil and Gas: the Promise and the Peril" is written with a general audience in mind. This second edition comprises short self-contained chapters that offer a balanced look at natural gas and shale oil production. 

"The field of shale oil and gas is a rapidly changing one and the purpose of this book is to shed light on the most current developments relevant to the technology of fracturing, " Rao said. "I want supporters and opponents to be aware of these new developments, specifically how this has brought about a manufacturing renaissance in America. Shale oil has revealed itself to be a large new resource, and for the first time in its history, the U.S. is the swing producer of oil with the potential to affect world prices."

The book includes six new chapters as well as updates to existing ones and addresses key topics such as the public disclosure of chemicals used for fracturing and other environmental issues, regulations needed for responsible extraction, strategies for displacing oil as a transport fuel, the impact of production on national security and foreign policy, and the potential for shale oil and natural gas extraction in international markets. 

For instance, Rao states that during the two-year period of 2012 to 2014, new U.S. oil production of about two million barrels per day offset an equivalent drop in production from the rest of the world, likely helping keep prices stable. Beginning in late 2014, U.S. production continued to ramp up and was not offsetting other stoppages.  Consequently, the price of oil dropped to 50 dollars per barrel in a matter of months. So, it is safe to conclude that U.S. shale oil, and not the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is directly affecting the price of oil, he suggests.

By examining current and past developments in oil production, "Shale Oil and Gas: The Promise and the Peril," improves the foundation needed to inform future policy decisions regarding this resource. 

The book is available for purchase on the RTI Press website through Amazon.