Shale oil in North America: Profitable, yet risky

Shale oil in North America: Profitable, yet risky

Shale oil has been both a nationwide and international controversy.

Production has doubled in the past two years, and the recoverable amount represents one-third of the world’s natural gas.

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The United States and Canada are leaning towards capitalizing on shale gas resources. Experts are beginning to question if there are profits to be made in drilling for shale oil. Companies must be able to have at least a breakeven point when they decide to recover the resource at a price the market will pay.

Another impact with drilling for shale oil is environmental issues. The process to extract shale oil involves hydraulic fracturing. Many states in the US are looking to ban hydraulic fracturing. The concerns that arise are water supplies and leaks of heat trapping methane along with air and health issues. France has already banned the technique and more countries may follow.

In the United States, Texas and North Dakota have decided to capitalize on shale oil with Eagle Ford and Bakken, respectively. The quality of shale oil in Texas is high and the oil in North Dakota is light and ideal for refineries, which has made drilling profitable.

The question will remain unanswered if drilling for shale oil is worth the risks that go along retrieving it from the ground.

Kara Keenan
Recruitment Consultant (Houston office)
The Global Edge Consultants

The Global Edge Consultants is a full service firm specializing in the recruitment of technical and project personnel for industries such as Government, Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Chemical, Engineering, Power, Nuclear and Manufacturing. Check out our careers page!

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