March 2015, Vol. 242, No. 3

Features

Can Shale Formations Enable U.S. to Become Oil Exporter?

In recent years, the technological advances in recovering hydrocarbons trapped in tight formations, like shale, using unconventional drilling methods (horizontal drilling in conjunction with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing) have made U.S. oil production grow dramatically. The growth in crude oil production from tight oil formations is about a fourfold increase from 2008 to 2012. In 2008, tight oil production accounted for 12% of total U.S. crude oil production, whereas in 2012, it accounted for 35% of total U.S. production. Tight oil productions, as of mid-2014, accounted for over 50% of U.S. crude oil production. Shale Oil Vs. Tight Oil Before we go further, a quick note on difference b

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