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Remember the term "peak oil"? That was the idea, widely touted a decade ago, that world oil production was soon to reach its peak and then enter decline. You don't hear much about it anymore, and the main reason for that is the U.S. shale oil boom. Fracking has opened new reserves and made the U.S. the largest producer of crude oil in the world. The shale industry has traditionally been dominated by smaller, independent oil producers, but the biggest energy companies are now zeroing further in on the Permian Basin in West Texas, with plans to significantly boost production.

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