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| 1 minute read

U.S. Oil Drillers Are Going Electric—if They Can Get the Electricity

As a professional in the oil and gas industry, I was intrigued by the article by Rebecca Elliott and Christopher M. Matthews that discusses how some companies in Texas are switching to the electric power grid to run their fracking operations. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique that involves pumping water, sand, and chemicals into shale rock formations to extract oil and gas. Fracking requires a lot of energy; traditionally, companies have used diesel generators to power their equipment. However, diesel generators are expensive, noisy, and polluting.

The article explains that some companies, such as EOG Resources Inc. and Pioneer Natural Resources Co., are now opting to use electricity from the grid to power their fracking operations, as part of their efforts to reduce emissions and costs. The article cites a study by the University of Texas at Austin that estimates that switching to grid power could cut carbon dioxide emissions from fracking by 40% and save up to $24 million per well.

This sounds like a win-win situation for the environment and the economy, but the article also points out some of the challenges and risks of using grid power for fracking, such as the availability and reliability of electricity, the need for infrastructure upgrades, and the potential impact on the grid’s stability and resilience. The article also notes that some environmental groups are skeptical of the benefits of grid power for fracking, arguing that it still supports the production of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

I think the article provides an informative and balanced overview of the emerging trend of using grid power for fracking, and raises some important questions and issues for further discussion and research. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic, so please feel free to comment below. 

In the country’s busiest oil field, frackers are devouring nearly as much electricity as four Seattles every day—and they are clamoring for more.


oil & gas, caleb brett, sustainability