Data analysis could trigger new shale gas revolution: Los Alamos Lab

Extensive data mining and analysis of 20,000 shale gas wells has revealed how “refracturing” existing wells with new technology could transform them from diminished producers into high-performers long after their initial peak production period has ended. “Our analysis could potentially aid in reducing the number of new wells to be drilled,” said Richard Middleton, lead…


Consolidating infrastructure can ease shale gas threat to US forests

Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians in the U.S. —driven by pipeline and access road construction—is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat. Expansive tracts of continuous forest provide critical habitat for some species of…


Study estimates Utica shale holds gigantic amount of recoverable gas

The amount of natural gas trapped in the Utica shale might rival what drillers hope to extract from its more famous neighbour the Marcellus, a group of geologists have concluded. “It’s comparable to the highest number I’ve seen for the Marcellus,” said Doug Patchen, head of the Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium at…


Barnett Shale research raises new concerns about methane emissions

Researchers from the University of Houston found that some natural gas wells, compressor stations and processing plants in the Barnett Shale leak far more methane (CH4) than previously estimated, potentially offsetting the climate benefits of natural gas. The study is one of 11 papers published in the July 7 edition of Environmental Science & Technology,…


Study finds raised levels of chemicals in Barnett Shale water; no direct link to fracking, yet

Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington have found elevated levels of numerous metals and chemical compounds associated with the hydraulic fracturing process in public and private water wells throughout the Barnett Shale. A peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology is careful not to identify drilling as the source…


US shale energy opportunity: A win-win for economy, environment – Harvard study

America’s unconventional gas and oil resources are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance the nation’s economic competitiveness while minimizing environmental impacts, and making major progress toward reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. But there is a real risk that American citizens, companies, and communities will fail to capitalize on this opportunity because of misunderstanding and distrust. Unconventional energy production…