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Fracking: America's Energy Revolution

America's 21st Century energy revolution began at home with a sweeping technological advancement known as 'Hydraulic Fracturing' or 'Fracking'. This enlightening series, Fracking: America's Energy Revolution, examines the science and economics of this latest boom in America's oil industry.
  • Title ID 99-FRA
  • History, American History, Political Science, Science, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, Geography, Economics, Environmental
  • 2 Programs
  • 6 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Published by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Included Programs
Supplemental Files

Included Programs

The ScienceRunning time is 29 minutes

Program One, The Science examines hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and how this extraordinary science and technology of recovering energy from oil shale has sparked a 21st century energy revolution in the United States.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: America's New Gas and Oil Frontier
The technology developed for obtaining gas and oil directly from what are known as black shales, tight shales and organic-rich shales, turned out to be a combination of advances in hydraulic fracturing coupled with advances in horizontal drilling, known simply as fracking.
Chapter 2: Shale Oil and Gas
The energy revolution of the 21st century has spawned new terms such as unconventional oil and gas, or tight oil and gas, to describe the organic rich shales and organic shale source rocks, found in many formations around the nation, including the Niobrara in the Denver Basin, the Marcellus and Utica in the Appalachian Basin, the Antrim Shale in the Michigan Basin, New Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin, the Barnett and Eagle For formations in Texas, the Bakken in the Williston Basin, and Mont
Chapter 3: Conventional Oil and Gas
The conventional search for conventional oil and gas, sometimes known as wildcatting, begins by drilling a bore hole 5 to 20 inches in diameter from a drilling rig while drilling fluid, or mud, is pumped down the drill pipe to cool the drilling bit. When completed, natural pressure or down hole pumps or surface pump jacks are used to bring the crude oil to the surface where it is sent to refineries and converted to gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, feed stocks for plastics, medicines and other chemica
Chapter 4: Unconventional Oil and Gas
The father of the fracking revolution is George Mitchell, who started the search for unconventional oil and gas in Texas's Barnett shale; but it is the use of horizontal drilling coupled with multi-stage fracturing and the use of specialized proppants to fracture the shale that made the new industry economically feasible.

The EconomicsRunning time is 29 minutes

Program Two looks at the economics of hydraulic fracturing or fracking and its impact not only on America's oil industry and energy based economy but on the 21st century's, global energy geopolitics.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: A History of America's Energy Resources
From the time of the first colonists the search for energy in America has gone from wood to coal to oil to natural gas; but it was the discovery of oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake in 1859 that would revolutionize America, lead to an oil industry dominated by a few individuals like John D. Rockefeller, a network of oil and gas pipelines, off shore drilling, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline connecting Prudhoe Bay with the Gulf of Alaska, dependence on foreign - oil as seen in the OPEC oil
Chapter 2: Economics
The new sources of gas and oil found through fracking has spurred American job growth and some say it is responsible for pulling the U.S. out of the Great Recession of 2008.
Chapter 3: Concerns
Every energy revolution has adverse impacts to the environment and fracking has problems too, including leaks and spills that can cause ground and surface water contamination, methane gas releases, increased CO2 emissions effecting climate change, and the possible contamination of aquifers by the additives in the chemical solutions used for creating the hydraulic fracturing.
Chapter 4: Geopolitics and the Future
Following the 1970s oil crisis and OPEC oil embargo, the American Congress placed a ban on the export of American crude oil; however with the 21st century shale revolution America's energy independence has changed her role in energy geopolitics, specifically in global gas and oil geopolitics, while at home big oil and big oil companies are taking a backseat to smaller oil companies and entrepreneurs leading the energy revolution of the 21st century.

Supplemental Files

Fracking - Educator's Guide
Fracking - Expert Citations
MARC Records for FRA
MARC records for the Full Series FRA, Fracking: America's Energy Revolution
MARC Records for FRA
MARC records for the series Fracking: America's Energy Revolution
Transcription for The Science
Transcription for The Economics