Strategy, Technology, and Current Issues
in the Oil Industry
Energy Overview / Current Issues in
Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.
Energy Industry health and safety
issues are increasingly complicated.
In addition to newly stringent regulations, numerous lawsuits
have made it more risky for companies to engage in exploration
for oil and gas, as well as the exploitation of alternative
energy, and “dirty” energy sources such as coal.
Perhaps one of the most controversial areas is in hydraulic
fracturing, where operators have been cited for contaminating
aquifers and inducing earthquakes. The response to hydraulic
fracturing has been nothing short of frenetic in some regions of
the country, with angry protesters clustered on the steps of
state capitol buildings, and operators attempting to allay fears
by providing information. It seems that minds are relatively
closed, however, the underlying problem is a lack of trust and
an overweening suspicion of the other camp’s underlying motives
and/or hidden (or not so hidden) agendas.
While much of the populace is only now becoming aware of
hydraulic fracturing, in truth, it has been practiced for more
than 60 years. What makes hydraulic fracturing different in
today’s world is the fact that the wells being frac’ed are
horizontal (rather than vertical) and the scale of frac’ing has
What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
The Facts Behind the Frack
(how casing leaks can cause problems in wells that have been
Global Challenges at the Intersection of Trade, Energy, and the
Environment (p. 145-175)
What is hydraulic fracturing and why is it important?
How long has hydraulic fracturing been practiced, and why, after
60 or so years, is it suddenly an issue?
Why might hydraulic fracturing be an issue for
How can companies assure the public that hydraulic fracturing is