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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

A short new Energy Information Administration report offers a vivid look at the rise of horizontal drilling, which works in concert with hydraulic fracturing to unlock huge oil and natural gas pockets in shale formations.

Why it matters: The drilling and fracking surge in regions like the Permian Basin of Texas and the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania have transformed the U.S. into the world's largest oil-and-gas producer. Advances in horizontal drilling tech have helped enable the boom.

By the numbers: "In 2004, horizontal wells accounted for about 15% of U.S. crude oil production in tight oil formations. By the end of 2018, that percentage had increased to 96%," EIA notes. The numbers are similar for shale gas.

Go deeper: Oil investor warns of "energy crisis" for U.S. producers

Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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