Commentary on Health and Environmental Risks from Hydraulic Fracturing
Petrochemical production has been happening in the United States since the 1900s.1 In the United States, total oil production had been declining for decades as shown in Figure 5.1.
With the rise in oil prices, unconventional oil is now being recovered in everincreasing quantities. The International Energy Agency has dened unconventional oil as hydrocarbons that must be obtained using nontraditional technologies, which include hydraulic fracturing. Figure 5.2 presents the thousands of barrels produced per day from January 2000 through May 2011, highlighting the increase in tight oil production in the United States in recent years.