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Fracking Responsible for Biggest Oil Boom in US History

Via the Wall Street Journal (emphasis mine):

U.S. oil production grew more in 2012 than in any year in the history of the domestic industry, which began in 1859, and is set to surge even more in 2013.

Daily crude output averaged 6.4 million barrels a day last year, up a record 779,000 barrels a day from 2011 and hitting a 15-year high, according to the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group.

It is the biggest annual jump in production since Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well in Titusville, Pa., two years before the Civil War began.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts 2013 will be an even bigger year, with average daily production expected to jump by 900,000 barrels a day.

The surge comes thanks to a relatively recent combination of technologies—horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressures to break apart underground rock formations.

Together, they have unlocked deposits of oil and gas trapped in formations previously thought to be unreachable.

Count this as one more nail in the coffin of anti-fracking activists. Despite constant, often fact-free, criticism, fracking has brought an economic boom to those states willing to unleash their natural resources.

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