Workers make a pipe connection on the Orion Perseus drilling rig, Webb County, Texas.
Eddie Seal | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The U.S. oil industry shook up the world energy order in the last decade, and now it has been going through a shakeout of its own that is expected to end in more bankruptcies and mergers.
In the early part of this century, an upstart band of U.S. energy producers brought hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” technology, to the world. It was an American-born innovation that helped turn the U.S. from the world’s biggest importer of oil into, just recently, a net exporter of oil and fuel products.
In the last decade, U.S. oil production boomed as producers used hydraulic fracturing and evolving horizontal drilling technology to extract oil from difficult-to-access places…