Oil and Gas Exploration

Oklahoma has found itself at the epicenter of a debate about fracking and earthquakes.

U.S. crude hit 5 ½-year lows early Monday with signs that oil prices may have just about bottomed, said Joe Petrowski, former CEO of Gulf Oil. WTI crude dropped to $56.25 a barrel in early trading, its lowest price since May 2009, but stabilized later in the morning. Meanwhile, Brent crude also clawed its way …

From his driveway, Tom Wheeler’s view of North Dakota’s sprawling grasslands seems endless. Fields of soy, wheat and canola stretch to the horizon in all directions. But as drillers flock to the state to cash in on North Dakota’s booming shale play, that horizon has become increasingly marked by natural gas flares. Wheeler, 59, owns …

Critics of fracking, may have hoped drought-ridden states might be inclined to shut down the oil and gas abstraction method that uses lots of water. But just last month, in the midst of the worst drought in California’s history, the state Senate killed a bill that would have put a moratorium on the state’s use of hydraulic fracturing. The …