fracking

Reveal

KCUR's new investigative show, Reveal, this weekend explores energy production in the United States.

Airing Sunday at 7 p.m., Reveal will look at how fracking has opened new realms of oil and gas production – and we’ll examine some of the complex consequences of so-called energy independence.

The recent oil boom in North Dakota – driven by hydraulic fracturing and advances in technology – is a big reason why the United States is now the world’s leader in combined oil and natural gas production.

Frank Morris / KCUR

If you think of an illustration of Oklahoma, you may picture a pan-shaped state, with an oil derrick on it.  But Oklahoma is fast becoming famous for something else — earthquakes.  In 2014, it registered more perceptible tremors than anywhere else in the contiguous United States, and they seem to be getting stronger. The industry that has long sustained Oklahoma is likely the one now cracking its foundations.

Quite a few of the 225 people who live in Dish, Texas, think the nation's natural gas boom is making them sick.

They blame the chemicals used in gas production for health problems ranging from nosebleeds to cancer.

And the mayor of Dish, Bill Sciscoe, has a message for people who live in places where gas drilling is about to start: "Run. Run as fast as you can. Grab up your family and your belongings, and get out."

Living in the middle of a natural gas boom can be pretty unsettling. The area around the town of Silt, Colo., used to be the kind of sleepy rural place where the tweet of birds was the most you would hear. Now it's hard to make out the birds because of the rumbling of natural gas drilling rigs.

The land here is steep cliffs and valleys. But bare splotches of earth called well pads are all over the place.

"That's the one I'm worried about because it just went in," says Tim Ray.

KA / geograph.org.uk

A committee in the Kansas House is considering legislation that would allow the state to write new rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. The process is used in oil and gas drilling.

Fracking's New Angle In Kansas

Dec 27, 2011
Bigstock.com

After finding success and controversy in other states, horizontal fracking is bringing a new angle to the oil and gas business in Kansas, along with environmental concerns.

“It’s just now starting here in Kansas. We probably have a handful of horizontal drilling operations currently going on, but we anticipate that to grow,” said Doug Louis, director of the conservation division with the Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry.