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10 Ways to Play the Fracking Boom

A number of options, from Big Oil stocks to small M&A prospects

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What a difference a few years makes. After facing a future filled with imported energy and higher prices, the United States is now sitting on a virtual ocean of oil and natural gas. U.S. production of onshore oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) continues to skyrocket. So much energy is being produced — and still so much remains in the ground that finally can be tapped.

The reason for all of this new-found energy abundance stems from new advances in drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing, along with horizontal drilling rigs, has allowed a variety of exploration and production firms the ability to tap the various shale rock formations and unconventional fields dotting the countryside. At the same time, previously dry or dying fields have been given new life using the drilling techniques.

Fracking isn’t without its controversy or critics. The drilling process has raised concerns about everything from water safety to earthquakes. Some of these concerns have led to temporary bans across New York and New Jersey. But where it has been embraced, fracking has led to monumental increases in job growth and energy production.

Given that technique is responsible for the sheer amount of energy the U.S. is now “burdened” with, its long-term dominance seems assured. And for those wanting to get in near the ground level of the revolution, there’s a number of ways to invest. Here’s a look at 10 ways to play the fracking boom:

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