Fracking

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The National Transportation Safety Board made an ‘urgent’ recommendation to improve the safety of oil-carrying rail cars. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Shipping oil by rail is booming. Technology can make it safer

While federal agencies ponder regulations for safer oil rail cars, researchers are developing high-tech inspection and safety systems.
This derailed oil-carrying train in Ontario in March was the third from a single freight company in a month. Reuters

Despite disasters, oil-by-rail transport is getting safer

Derailed train cars carrying oil have more communities concerned about spills. What's behind the oil-by-rail boom and a federal agency's 'urgent' call last week for better safety?
Is fracked gas greener than imported oil? Gareth Fuller/PA

Gas will replace oil in the UK – with or without fracking

MPs in the UK recently voted against a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing but Lancashire, the local county council under most pressure, agreed it needed more time to make a decision. MPs also agreed that…
Have fracking opponents over-estimated Cameron’s enthusiasm for fracking? Jeff J Mitchell

Shale fail: David Cameron has not gone ‘all out’ for fracking

David Cameron might have been forced into accepting several restrictions on fracking to avoid a Commons defeat, but one thing that has never appeared in doubt is the Conservative party leadership’s commitment…
A natural gas well in Bradford County, PA. Reuters

The false promise of fracking and local jobs

In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in the state. He attributed…
The debate over fracking in New York state was especially polarized. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Fracking resolution in New York - escalation of fracking politics across the nation

Drilling in the Marcellus Shale, and in other unconventional oil and gas formations across the US, has led to a boom in domestic natural gas and oil production -– largely due to advances in high volume…
Oil prices have dropped to levels not seen in years. It’s not all good news. Reuters

Oil price drop offers short-term gains but long-term pains

The recent drop in crude oil and gasoline prices in the United States is a nice stocking stuffer for consumers this holiday season, but it could turn into a lump of coal. A global oil glut has caused the…
Coal seam gas is only one issue for managing one of Australia’s most important geological resources. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Coal seam gas is just the latest round in an underground war

In a recent article on The Conversation, Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) researchers argued that the industry is progressing faster than the science, leading to concerns over fugitive emissions and impacts…
Tensions ran high in Balcombe last summer. EPA/ Facundo Arrizabalaga

Fracking protesters accuse police of intimidation campaign

Although only a small area of land has been offered to companies exploring the potential for fracking in the UK so far, much more is likely to come. But opposition to fracking is growing – and growing…
Is trouble brewing in the North Sea? Jo Christian Oterhals

Why an $80 barrel of oil is bad

The dramatic and unexpected 20% fall in oil prices since mid-June has caused alarm in Scotland, the UK and indeed worldwide. Why did oil prices slump to a four-year low of US$84 (£52) per barrel this week…
Better get our heads out of the sand and run. Peter Byrne/PA

Fracking boom could mean up to 12% more carbon emissions

The consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global…

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