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The Boston Globe

Business

Shale oil helps revive East Coast refineries

Offers cheaper gas; US could top Saudi output

A year ago, the shutdown of several refineries serving the Northeast and the possibility they would not reopen threatened to boost New England’s already­ high gasoline prices by as much as 15 cents a gallon. But an influx of cheaper crude oil extracted from shale rock formations in the United States has helped save most of those facilities and stabilized gas ­prices.

The revival of the East Coast refineries is another example of how the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is changing the energy equation for the region, nation, and world.

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