Articles & Videos

How Aubrey McClendon Led Today’s Energy Revolution

  • 4th March 20164/03/16
Aubrey McClendon 1959-2016

By Russell Gold Ten years ago, I first interviewed a brash up-and-comer in the energy business named Aubrey McClendon. The chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, he was smart and personable. His bold vision of the future of energy struck me—and made me a little skeptical. McClendon said that there were lots of new places to drill; […]

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No End in Sight for Oil Glut

  • 22nd August 201522/08/15

By Russell Gold When oil prices started to edge down a year ago, most energy mavens thought the drop would be small and short-lived. Instead, the price of crude has plunged by about 60% from its 2014 peak—and suddenly looks likely to stay low for months and maybe years to come. The reason: In the […]

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Next Texas Energy Boom: Solar

  • 22nd August 201522/08/15
Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 10.19.55 PM

By Russell Gold FORT STOCKTON, Texas—A new energy boom is taking shape in the oil fields of west Texas, but it’s not what you think. It’s solar. Solar power has gotten so cheap to produce—and so competitively priced in the electricity market—that it is taking hold even in a state that, unlike California, doesn’t offer […]

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Disaster Plans for Oil Trains

  • 14th April 201514/04/15
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By Russell Gold Imagine a mile-long train transporting crude oil derailing on an elevated track in Jersey City, N.J., across the street from senior citizen housing and 2 miles from the mouth of the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan. The oil ignites, creating an intense explosion and a 300-foot fireball. The blast kills 87 people right […]

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How ‘Orphan’ Wells Leave States Holding the Cleanup Bag

  • 26th February 201526/02/15

By Dan Frosch and Russell Gold GILLETTE, Wyo.—After a natural-gas boom in the Powder River Basin here petered out several years ago, few energy companies were interested in the leftover wells pockmarking the prairie. Then Ed Presley came along. The burly, bearded speculator acquired roughly 3,000 idle wells, many for a few dollars. With a […]

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Back to the Future? Oil Replays 1980s Bust

  • 14th January 201514/01/15

By Russell Gold A surge of oil from outside of the Middle East flooded global energy markets. The world-wide thirst for crude didn’t keep up. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries stood by and watched as oil prices fell and then fell more. Welcome to the world of oil in 2015—a repeat in surprising […]

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How Crude Oil’s Global Collapse Unfolded

  • 12th December 201412/12/14

By Russell Gold Since the 1970s, Nigeria has sent a steady stream of high-quality crude oil to North American refineries. As recently as 2010, tankers delivered a million barrels a day. Then came the U.S. energy boom. By July of this year, oil imports from Nigeria had fallen to zero. Displaced by surging U.S. oil […]

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Oil Trains Hide in Plain Sight

  • 4th December 20144/12/14

By Russell Gold NEWARK, Del.—Early last year, a new kind of pipeline full of volatile oil appeared in this college town, halfway between Philadelphia and Baltimore. If it had been a traditional pipeline, there would have been government hearings and environmental reviews. There would be markers or signs along the line’s route and instructions for […]

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Global Oil Glut Sends Prices Plunging

  • 16th October 201416/10/14

By Russell Gold Oil prices posted their biggest one-day drop in nearly two years Tuesday as a U.S.-led wave of crude has crashed into weak global demand, threatening the stability of some countries and providing an economic lifeline to others. Tuesday’s slide of 4.5% by U.S. crude oil to $81.84 a barrel on the New […]

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Fracking Firms Get Tested by Oil’s Price Drop

  • 16th October 201416/10/14

By Russell Gold and Erin Ailworth Tumbling oil prices are starting to frighten energy companies around the globe, especially drillers in North America, where crude is expensive to pump. Global oil prices have fallen about 8% in the past four weeks. The European oil benchmark closed Thursday at $90.05 a barrel, its lowest point in 29 months. […]

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Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True

  • 29th September 201429/09/14

By Russell Gold Have we beaten “peak oil”? U.S. oil production did peak in the 1970s and sank for decades after, exactly as the theory predicted. But then it did something the theory didn’t predict: It started rising again in 2009, and hasn’t stopped, thanks to a leap forward in oil-field technology. To the peak-oil adherents, this is just […]

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Dangers Aside, Railways Reshape Crude Market

  • 23rd September 201423/09/14

Shipping Crude by Rail Expands as New Pipelines Hit Headwinds and Train Companies Reap Revenue By Russell Gold and Chester Dawson In May 2008, a locomotive with a grizzly bear painted on its side pulled into a railroad siding next to an abandoned grain elevator in the ghost town of Dore, N.D. The engine, property […]

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Fracking Gives U.S. Energy Boom Plenty of Room to Run

  • 14th September 201414/09/14
A well in Susquehanna County, Penn., where some giant gas wells have been drilled. (Getty)

By Russell Gold Skeptics of the U.S. energy boom say it can’t last much longer because it requires drilling an ever-increasing number of wells. But the boom already has lasted longer than anyone would have imagined just a decade ago and has more room to run. That’s because oil and natural-gas wells have become more productive—an unrecognized […]

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North Dakota Fracking: Behind the Oil-Train Explosions

  • 7th July 20147/07/14 via WSJ

By Russell Gold and Chester Dawson When energy companies started extracting oil from shale formations in South Texas a few years ago, they invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make the volatile crude safer to handle. In North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oil field, nobody installed the necessary equipment. The result is that the second-fastest […]

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Secrecy of Oil-by-Train Shipments Causes Concern Across the U.S. Crude

  • 23rd May 201423/05/14

By Russell Gold Emergency responders in Cincinnati know that trains full of crude oil have been rumbling through their city; they can see mile-long chains of black tank cars clacking across bridges over the Ohio River. But they don’t know enough to feel prepared for the kinds of fiery accidents that have occurred over the […]

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