Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 1:47 pm
With oil around $85 a barrel and tumbling to its lowest levels in several years, here's the upside: Gasoline prices are down, the U.S. is feeling less dependent on foreign crude, and serious economic pressure is growing on oil producers such as Iran and Russia.
Here's the downside: The low demand for oil reflects a fragile global economy that's vulnerable to additional shocks, like falling stock markets around the world.
Oklahoma’s earthquake surge and possible links to oil and gas activity have been studied in scientific papers, discussed at heated town-hall meetings and explored regulatory hearings.
The quakes are now triggering some rumblings at the state Capitol.
About 4,000 earthquakes have shaken Oklahoma this year, data from the Oklahoma Geological Survey show. Most of the quakes have been small — roughly 10 percent were 3.0-magnitude or greater, the threshold at which seismologists say the temblors are likely perceivable.
Once a day, a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields rumbles through Bismarck, N.D., just a stone's throw from a downtown park.
The Bakken fields produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, making the state the nation's second-largest oil producer after Texas. But a dearth of pipelines means that most of that oil leaves the state by train — trains that run next to homes and through downtowns.