(Scientific American) It can be difficult to comprehend just how big the current U.S. shale boom is. Here in Central Texas, we hear about the Eagle Ford Shale and how it’s transforming South Texas (in both positive and negative ways).

The shale, named for the town of Eagle Ford, TX, is a geologic remnant of the ancient ocean that covered present day Texas millions of years ago, when the remains of sea life (especially ancient plankton) died and deposited onto the seafloor, were buried by several hundred feet of sediment, eventually turning into the rich source of hydrocarbons we have today.

The shale was first tapped in 2008 and now has around 20 active fields good producing over 900 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. For perspective, the United States produced over 2 trillion cubic feet of gas in September 2012.

There is so much activity in the Eagle Ford Shale that you can see it from space.


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