Everyone knew it was crazy to try to extract oil and natural gas buried in shale rock deep below the ground. Everyone, that is, except a few reckless wildcatters - who risked their careers to prove the world wrong. Things looked grim for American energy in 2006. Oil production was in steep decline and natural gas was hard to find. The Iraq War threatened the nation’s already tenuous relations with the Middle East. China was rapidly industrializing and competing for resources. Major oil companies had just about given up on new discoveries on U.S. soil, and a new energy crisis seemed likely.
But a handful of men believed everything was about to change. Far from the limelight, Aubrey McClendon, Harold Hamm, Mark Papa, and other wildcatters were determined to tap massive deposits of oil and gas that Exxon, Chevron, and other giants had dismissed as a waste of time. By experimenting with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale - a process now known as fracking - the wildcatters started a revolution. In just a few years, they solved America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy - and made and lost astonishing fortunes.
No one understands these men better than the award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman. His exclusive access enabled him to get close to the frackers and chronicle the untold story of how they transformed the nation and the world. The result is a dramatic stretching from the barren fields of North Dakota and the rolling hills of northeastern Pennsylvania to cluttered pickup trucks in Texas and tense Wall Street boardrooms.
Activists argue that the same methods that are creating so much new energy are also harming our water supply and threatening environmental chaos. The Frackers tells the story of the angry opposition unleashed by this revolution and explores just how dangerous fracking really is.
©2013 Gregory Zuckerman (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC
A true story of good ol' American ingenuity solving problems to make a buck and in the process did away with the concept "peak oil". The narrator is excellent and very easy to listen to, but there was a fatal flaw. I cringed every time he said Chiniere or Schlumberger. Mr. Pratt, please look up the pronunciations before you go and narrate and entire book and mispronounce the names of the primary companies in the book. Chiniere is pronounced shin'-uh-ree not shin-aire'. Being connected with the oil industry, these names are available on the internet or just listen to CNBC for a few hours and you'll hear these pronounced correctly. Chiniere is pronounced shin'-uh-ree, not shin-aire'. Shlumberger is pronounced shlum'-ber-zhay not shlum'-burger. Otherwise, the story is fascinating, and the author did a fantastic job of showing a few pieces of the puzzle of how the process of fracking opened new energy to the US in a modern equivalent of finding the new world.
Easy listening and easy to understand.
Smooth narration, very easy to listen to. Not too negative or overly positive sounding.
This was an unexpected delight. I've always been interested in the topic of hydraulic fracturing after watching the documentary film Gas Land, but for it to be a story about several different people and their paths in history, it was something I didn't want to stop listening to. It was also very even keeled since he points out all aspects of it, especially around the Dimock, PA wells.
In my estimation, this book does a good job walking the tight rope between "drill baby, drill!" and environmental concerns involved in the process of getting natural gas and crude oil from shale. I'm sure that many environmentalists will think that the author spends too little time addressing the ecological concerns and too much celebrating the figures that brought it in to being.
The history of Fracking as this book lays it out is very interesting. We learn that Fracking isn't a result of Big Oil on their quest for increased global dominance, but rather the small time operators trying new approaches and technologies to make their humble operations profitable.
My only major issue with the book is the timing. The story over fracking is still unfolding and it's impact on the global scene, local communities and the environment hasn't even come close to being realized yet. Due to that, the book's narrative fizzles out at the end. I was more interested in the first 2/3 than the final 1/3. I'm also not sure why Charif Souki, with Cheniere Energy is profiled in the book so extensively other than his interesting back story.
Haven't read the print version.
The perspective was good.
Very even and easy to listen to. Inflection was good, and not overdone.
A must for those in the industry. It gives you a good understanding of the environment of the medium sized oil and gas business in America.
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