July 29, 2020
Depending on your perspective, this is either good news or bad news. I’ll avoid editorializing either way.
Fracking for oil pollutes the water and releases methane — a potent greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere. But it does make oil cheaper and more plentiful.
At least, it did.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, more than three dozen North American shale explorers, fracking service companies and pipeline operators have sought bankruptcy protection. A share of stock in Whiting Petroleum, whose stock price traded above $150 three years ago, can now be purchased for 91 cents.
Overall, fracking production is down by 2 million barrels a day from a peak of almost 13 million early this year. With prices at their current level, not one of the 100 largest fracking operations in the country can turn a profit.