Oil in Them Thar Hills

Visited Eastern Montana last week. Although the Bakkan Oil 
Boom has slowed with falling oil prices, oil derricks have become a ubiquitous feature of a landscape that used to be all cattle, wheat fields and dusty dirt roads.  I have mixed feelings. The oil money is a welcome boost to the struggling local economy, and the 3D seismic monitoring used to guide fracking  is an outstanding example of cutting-edge geophysics in action.  Concerns about induced seismicity are minor in this region where the population density is so low, but worry over  the long-term environmental consequences remains.


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