Smithsonian maps US shale as ASP sounds word of caution

ESRI interactive mapping technology shows fracking activity. Unclear if projections will be met.

A new resource provided by the prestigious Smithsonian Institution provides a real-time overview of fracking activity in the US. The latest contribution to the Statoil-funded Energy Innovation Smithsonian minisite leverages ESRI’s interactive mapping technology to visualize both non conventional targets and actual drilling and fracking activity. The mapping technology behind the resource comes from ESRI’s along with US Government data and the FracFocus chemical disclosure registry.


A separate communication from the American Security Project titled ‘The US Tight-Oil Boom, Geopolitical Winner or Long-Term Distraction?’ noted that in 2012, there were 1,919 active drilling rigs in the US, more than the rest of the world combined. But the report offers some words of caution. Typical tight oil wells experience very high decline rates and ‘a vast number of new wells must be brought online to maintain production. The report observes, ‘it is unclear at this early stage if the industry can keep up such a frenetic drilling pace in order to meet the heady projections for oil production in the years ahead.

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