I just finished reading an advance copy of a really interesting new book titled “The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters” by Gregory Zuckerman, a financial journalist and special writer at the Wall Street Journal. It’s a fascinating and detailed account of America’s great shale revolution, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about what is probably the most important energy chapter in US history.
Zuckerman skillfully presents a very detailed and readable story of the American wildcatters who eventually “cracked the code” for shale oil and gas and revolutionized the US energy sector starting in about 2008. While the major oil companies had given up on finding new oil and gas in America and focused on exploration elsewhere – Africa, Asia, Russia – a small group of US “petropreneurs” were determined to find cost-effective technologies to unlock the oceans of oil and gas they knew were trapped inside shale rock formations saturated with fossil fuels miles below the Earth’s surface.
As the promotional material for the book explains: “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.”