- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 1st Edition edition (November 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591846455
- ISBN-13: 978-1591846451
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 361 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters Hardcover – November 5, 2013
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Fans of the lively, character-driven nonfiction of writers like Kurt Eichenwald and Ben Mezrich should welcome this book with open arms. It’s a potentially dry story: a bunch of guys try to make a lot of money by hammering subterranean rock formations (shale, mostly) with liquid, breaking them up, allowing the trapped-in natural gas to come to the surface. This is hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, and, in Zuckerman’s hands, the topic generates a surprisingly entertaining story about Big Men with Big Ideas, the highly competitive (and, in some cases, increasingly desperate) search for a new and potentially highly profitable source of energy. Zuckerman also explores the often passionate and outspoken opposition to the drilling procedure (for some, fracking doesn’t just sound like a dirty word; it is one), although he doesn’t come down on one side or the other. He shows us the beneficial side of fracking and the potentially environmentally disastrous side, and lets us find our own ground to stand on. A lively, exciting, and definitely thought-provoking book. --David Pitt
Praise for The Frackers
"Zuckerman’s fast-paced, densely interesting The Frackers is the first book to tell the stories of the obstinate, ravenous, methodical, sometimes rascally oil executives of the recent boom. By focusing on people instead of trends, it gets to the heart of why the United States is once again the largest supplier of oil and gas in the world."
—The New Republic
“The Frackers, [Zuckerman’s] second book, is told with care and precision and a deep understanding of finance and corporate politics as well as oil and geology.”
— Bryan Burrough, The New York Times
“Fans of the lively, character-driven nonfiction of writers like Kurt Eichenwald and Ben Mezrich should welcome this book with open arms . . . A lively, exciting, and definitely thought-provoking book”
“A fascinating study of American entrepreneurial culture and the modern robber barons who succeeded in creating an energy revolution.”
“Lovers of business and capitalism will appreciate The Frackers, … Zuckerman has done valuable and timely reporting on the men and independent companies that created the shale boom.”
“Colorful …compelling account [of] a revolution driven by stubborn entrepreneurs.”
“An interesting and first-rate narrative… a dramatic tale… The book may be the definitive story of the innovative men behind the most significant energy discovery of our time.”
—Akron Beacon Journal
"Insightful...At times suspenseful...on-target in telling the tale of a group of wildcatters who risked almost everything and helped launch the United States on the path to energy independence."
— Natural Gas Intelligence
“Too little attention has been paid to one of America's biggest economic and scientific revolution of recent decades: the tapping of abundant oil and natural gas reserves within our own borders using a technique called fracking. Wall Street Journal reporter Zuckerman…sets out to change that with his unique talent of translating complex aspects of finances and geology into prose that reads like a blockbuster thriller.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Zuckerman details [the frackers’s] epic adventure with skill that makes it required reading for anyone looking to understand fundamental forces at work in our world today.”
—Forbes “Best Books of 2013”
"A dynamic narrative... introduces us to the major players behind a boom."
—San Antonio Express-News
“Greg Zuckerman tells the remarkable story of the larger than life entrepreneurs and deal makers behind this energy-industrial revolution. A great read, whether you are pro-fracking or against it.”
—Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor at The Economist
“If you are looking for the present-day take on a romantic rag-to-riches drama reminiscent of the Gilded Age, engaging tales of brave entrepreneurs whose desire to get really wealthy helped them persevere and prosper come boom or bust, look no further than The Frackers."
–Pittsburgh Post Gazette
“Gregory Zuckerman tells the story of the shale revolution well. He has an eye for detail and a flair for narrative that makes it highly readable... This is a story of innovation as perspiration… It is a reminder that innovation is neither easy nor cheap nor inevitable”
—The Times (UK)
"Greg Zuckerman's The Frackers will long be considered 'The Bible' on fracking and the history of drilling in the US and the wildcatting billionaires who were the main players. This incredibly thorough book explains, thrills, and has us on the edge of our seats all the way towards US energy independence."
—James Altucher, best-selling author, entrepreneur and blogger
Praise for The Greatest Trade Ever
“ Simply terrific. Easily the best of the post-crash financial books.”
“ Mr. Zuckerman is a first-rate reporter who is also able to explain the complexities of real estate finance in layman’s terms. At times, The Greatest Trade Ever reads like a thriller.”
—The New York Times
“ He’s written the definitive account of a strange and wonderful subplot of the financial crisis.”
“ Possibly the greatest book to come out of the financial crisis of 2007–08, and it’s certainly up there in the top 3.”
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The author doesn’t focus too much on the technical details of the techniques and technology advances that made cost effective shale drilling possible, but he does give enough of an overview to give the reader an idea of what it took to make the energy revolution possible. The main action in the book starts in the early 1990s and ends in 2014. This is a great read and recommended for anyone interested in shale energy or just enjoys interesting character-driven nonfiction.
Interesting story of the Americans in the oil and gas industry who Have changes the business in America, and the world.
I found this book interesting and entertaining on several levels. Most importantly, it is about men who are innovative, intelligent, and willing to risk all of their resources on an idea. Interesting information about how the private part of the Americas gas and oil industry operate, and make the intelligent, hardworking and fortunate rich.
In America, the owner of the land owns the subsurface rights to whatever is t here. Most of the rest of the world is different and the subsurface rights belong to the state. Thus, any oil company, including small wildcatters, could get into the business by locating land where they believed there was commercially profitable amounts of ail and / or natural gas. A drill lease was signed with the land owner, accompanied with an up front payment, giving the driller the rights to drill on the property for a fixed period of time. If he did not drill, the lease expired. If he drilled and found gas or oil, then the land owner received a percentage of the value of whatever came out of the well.
In years past, the oil and gas that was provided by the industry was from porous underground formations. In some cases the oil and or gas was trapped under a fairly impervious cover of rock. The oil or gas driller would look at the information on the underground formations and select where to drill, hoping to hit a place containing natural gas or petroleum. If the well hit the pool of natural gas or petroleum, then the driller wold extract the product through the drill pipe, which was like a straw into a liquid or a gas.
There were many cases where there was gas or oil which was not in a pool, but was trapped in a rock formation and would not flow readily. An example is shale, which in many cases, the industry contained natural gas and / or oil, but it could not be commercially extracted by normal drilling where a hole is drilled down to the hydrocarbons, as only a small amount of the natural gas or oil would flow over to well. This hydrocarbons located in shale where they do not freely flow are called "tight" gas or "tight" oil.
People in the industry came up with ideas of what to do. One of the things was to do horizontal drilling into and along the layer of shale containing hydrocarbon, this exposed more of the hydrocarbon to the drill, but really did not solve the problem of getting the hydrocarbons to flow. Advances in understanding and documentation the geology underground made ideas like horizontal drilling a practical approach. There is extensive instrumentation in the drill head and still string to tell the drill crew what is happening down the hole. The drill pipe is somewhat flexible and can be bent over a fairly large radius bend. The actual drill at the end of the pipe is driven by the mud pumped down the pipe, which also carries away the drill spoil from the head of the drill. The drill can be driven in different directions by the drill crew, and thus they can drive it around from vertical to horizontal, and get it into the proper depth and keep it at the proper depth.
There are interesting stories of a number of the main players including George Mitchell who is considered the person who developed this p;art of the industry. He founded Mitchell Energy. Oryx Energy had Robert Hauptfuhrer as chief executive and Kenneth Bowdon as Geologist. Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward were the cofounders of Chesapeake Energy. Harold Hamm was the founder of Continental Resources. Mark Papa was the chief executive officer of EOG Resources. All in all an interesting collection of very talented men.
They worked in the shale plays including Bakken in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, Permian in Texas and New Mexico etc. This technology was developed in the USA, but can be applied to many other places in the world.
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