Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Texas prepares to drill 3,000 oil wells in a YEAR that could deliver major boost for U.S. economy - 31st May 2011

If the predictions prove true then it is a discovery that will have a dramatic effect on the U.S. economy.

For experts believe that the astonishing finds in 20 new onshore oil fields could, together, increase the country's oil output by 25 per cent in just ten years. This would reduce dependence on imported fuel and risky off-shore drilling.

The Texas field, also known as Eagle Ford, is one of the 20 and more than a dozen companies plan to drill 3,000 wells over the next 12 months in Catarina, South Texas.

Just five years ago the oil fields were considered useless. But then an engineer discovered that oil could be extracted in the same way as natural gas - through a process of hydraulic fracturing - and U.S. oil giant EOG bought thousands of acres of land in Texas.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking uses water, sand and chemicals to extract oil from rocks.

The method is used to to unlock natural gas but can also be used to release huge quantities of oil.

In a further development, Texas could soon become the first state to require drilling companies to publicly disclose the chemicals they use to crack tight rock formations in their search for natural gas and oil.

Legislation approved last night could prompt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other states to make similar rules.

At issue is 'fracking'. The contentious technique allows oil and gas companies to permeate tight shale formations and release once out-of-reach minerals.

Drillers pump millions of gallons of chemically laced water into the ground to break the rock, allowing natural gas to flow. Read More