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    Former US Official Says Middle East Against Fracking to Control Oil Supply

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    Middle Eastern countries oppose fracking in oil extraction because they want to retain control over global oil supply, Chuck McConnell, a former Obama administration energy official said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    WASHINGTON, January 28 (Sputnik) – Middle Eastern countries oppose other nations' use of fracking in oil extraction, as it undermines their control over the global oil supply, Chuck McConnell, a former Obama administration energy official has told RIA Novosti.

    "Do you know who hates fracking the most? People in the Middle East, who in the past controlled much of the world's supply of energy [oil]," McConnell asserted.

    The former official argued that fracking increases overall oil production, creating a portfolio of options for oil suppliers. "With more competition, there will be more oil available as well as market options for supply," he said.

    McConnell added that 40 years ago, when fracking was introduced, most of the oil originated in the Middle East, but currently there are many new oil markets, which drives global prices to be more competitive. "It takes the control from the few and opens it up to the many," he said.

    The former US energy official also said that fracking technology is not harmful for the environment if it is used properly.

    "The fracking technology is well engineered, when you have applied the technology correctly nothing bad happens. Concerns are surely a reality when it is done incorrectly, but that is true in most applications of technology in the business. That is why operations excellence and discipline is critical and no short cuts are taken or accepted," McConnell said.

    The former official added that in Texas, Michigan and many other US states, thousands of oil wells have been fracked, causing no problems with water pollution.

    He noted that thanks to fracking, places where people had never seen oil wells before, now have US domestic oil production at record levels.

    "Unfortunately too much of the debate [on fracking] is opinions by those that do not have scientific fact or understanding to validate claims. The science and data must be used to conclude the debate and to keep the information fresh, current, and to ensure safety is number one always," McConnell asserted.

    Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, refers to the extraction of shale oil and gas through the high-pressure injection of a specialty fluid compound into deep underground formations. The technique has turned the United States into the world's second largest oil producer, but also stirred up controversy in the country with one side of the debate emphasizing the economic benefits of fracking while the other voices concerns over potential health and environmental risks.

    OPEC currently comprises 12 members, including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Venezuela. The organization controls some 40 percent of the world's oil output.

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    fracking, OPEC, Charles McConnell, Michigan, Texas, United States
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