National Geographic Story on Fracking for Shale Oil

In March 2013, National Geographic devoted its cover story to the topic of fracking for shale oil. The New Oil Landscape lays out the pros and cons of fracking in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale play.  The editor writes, “on one side of the equation are abundant fossil fuels, less dependence on foreign sources, and the kind of economic prosperity that comes with jobs. On the other side is the possibility of contaminated groundwater, environmental degradation, and what [the author] calls a loss of prairie values—“silence, solitude, serenity.”

Accompanying the story is a photo gallery, related stories and resources like this two-minute  video animation that describes the process of hydraulic fracturing by zooming in on a well that is extracting shale oil from the Bakken Shale play in North Dakota.

On a related note, check out this image of the Earth at night that reveals “nighttime evidence of an oil boom” in this region of North Dakota.


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