America’s Oil Boom Cannot happen without water

This article discusses the oil industry’s reliance on water.

Unleashing billions of barrels of oil locked in beds of shale 10,000 feet deep is only possible if the oil industry — and state and federal regulators — safely manage production challenges involving the region’s other primary resource: water.

Drilling, fracking, and extracting crude oil and natural gas from shale requires prodigious volumes of water in the world-class energy fields in New Mexico, Texas, and five other Great Plains states that now supply almost 70 percent of the country’s 10.1 million-barrel-a-day production, the most ever. But because of distinctive geology and unusual hydrological conditions, nowhere are the ties between oil and water more demanding than in New Mexico’s Permian Basin.

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