Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions [November 21, 2014] [open pdf - 628KB]
"The United States has seen resurgence in petroleum production, mainly driven by technology improvements--especially hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling--developed for natural gas production from shale formations. Application of these technologies enabled natural gas to be economically produced from shale and other unconventional formations, and contributed to the United States becoming the world's largest natural gas producer in 2009. Use of these technologies has also contributed to the rise in U.S. oil production over the last few years.[…] This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed hydraulic fracturing rule and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions."
CRS Report for Congress, R43148