- A Critical Evaluation of Unconventional Gas Recovery from the Marcellus Shale, Northeastern United States
This article discusses the challenges facing natural gas production from Marcellus tight gas shale within the northeastern United States. Those challenges include prospecting, access by drilling, stimulation, and recovery. Prospecting takes into account the viability of the reservoir. Drilling compromises 50% of the cost of the well; horizontal drilling leads to larger productive zones and fewer costs. Stimulation and recovery methods improve gas yields and attempt to reduce environmental impacts. The author discusses those challenges involved in the recovery of gas and the Marcellus in particular.
- The Role of Isotopes in Monitoring Water Quality Impacts Associated with Shale Gas Drilling
Methane can be found in drinking water both naturally and also because of human activities, like the drilling of gas wells. Monitoring techniques using stable isotopes of carbon and hydrogen exist to help protect water well owners from contamination. Extensive and coordinated monitoring can be used in conjunction with careful data interpretation to understand the potential for methane contamination of drinking water. This report discusses monitoring and analysis techniques used in New York State to diagnose shale gas drilling contamination, while also noting limitations, uncertainties, and possible confounding factors. The language of the report, suitable for non-specialists, is technical but not complex.
- Natural gas operations from a public health perspective
Summarizes potential health effects of products and chemicals used in natural gas operations. Toxicological categorization of the products and chemicals that are summarized in the article were acquired by obtaining the Material Safety Data Sheets, reports and environmental assessments from different sources, including states and industry.
- The Impact of Marcellus Gas Drilling on Rural Drinking Water Supplies
This report explains key findings from a research study that took place in 2010 to 2011 using data collected from over 200 privately owned water wells. Three key findings are: 1) 40% of rural water wells already exceed at least one EPA drinking water standard (e.g., for coliform bacteria or turbidity) before drilling begins; 2) drilling does not appear to have a statistically significant impact on dissolved methane content in tested wells; 3) bromide may represent a novel contaminant of interest, although post-drilling levels increased in only one well. The authors also believe more intensive and longer-term research is needed. This report is sponsored by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan legislative agency within the PA General Assembly that seeks to sustain Pennsylvania's rural communities and provide a resource for rural policy.
- Rapid expansion of natural gas development poses a threat to surface waters
Natural gas development is likely to increase ecological impacts to the surrounding forests and waterways.This review article includes data on wells from the Fayetteville (AR, OK) and Marcellus (NY, PA, OH, WV, VA, KY) shale formations, and specifically addresses the issue of well proximity to water resources. The article discusses environmental threats to surface water (such as streams and rivers) from road construction, water withdrawals, sediment runoff, contaminant intrusion and improper wastewater disposal. Impacts on organisms and biological communities are also discussed.
- Citizens' Guide to Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania
Marcellus Shale is an attractive source for natural gas to decrease Americas dependence on foreign sources. As production has increased in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, residents have begun to express concern over the natural gas extraction. There is a significant impact on the environment from wastewater and surface water from drilling. Production also causes habitat fragmentation and invasive species invasion. This report is to educate residents who are seeking information about Marcellus Shale.
- Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale
This technical report examines whether drilling waste products (such as cuttings and fluids) contain naturally elevated concentrations of radium originating in formation waters. Ra-226 is a highly water soluble radioactive leachate that will dissolve in water under the temperature and pressure found in Marcellus Shale. Ra-226 can be found within drill cuttings and appear in landfills that house these cuttings. The hazards of dewatered Marcellus Shale drill cuttings and drilling fluid in landfills has not been fully evaluated.
- Prospects for Geosynthetic Containment Systems at Marcellus Formation Shale-Gas Drilling Projects
The Marcellus Formation is a marine sedimentary rock found in the Northeast. The shale contains a large supply of untapped natural gas and the proximity to high demand markets makes it an attractive target for energy development.
- The Marcellus Shale: Resources for Stakeholders in the Upper Delaware Watershed Region
This report presents research-based information on best management practices that address concerns raised by stakeholders and may help to mitigate the potential impacts of gas drilling. The report provides an objective review of the current status of regulations affecting gas drilling in the region as a common resource for all stakeholders. The report discusses those resources identified as important to stakeholders and worthy of consideration when siting gas drilling and pipeline infrastructure because of potential impacts on environmental, economic or social resources.
- Regulation and Permitting of Marcellus Shale Drilling
Regulating Marcellus Shale requires federal, state and local levels of government. Because of the rapid demand to develop natural gas, authorities and agencies are forced to balance long-term concerns with industry demands for expedited drilling permits. Economic concerns and the desire to promote energy independence accelerate this timeline.
- Deep Shale Natural Gas: Abundant, Affordable, and Surprisingly Water Efficient
Compares water efficiency of drilling in deep shale versus other activities
- An Introduction to Natural Gas Development and Workforces
This article describes the four phases involved in natural gas drilling: predevelopment or exploratory phase, development phase, production phase, and reclamation phase. Each phase's activities and required workforce are outlined. It includes a glossary of oil and gas terms.
- Compositional variety complicates processing plans for US shale gas
- Getting to the nitty of Barnett's gritty; studies shedding shale's secrets
This brief industry article discusses ongoing research efforts by a University of Oklahoma team on the stratigraphic and physical characteristics of the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin. The study involves systematic mapping and resevoir characterization.
- Shale Gas: Focus on the Marcellus Shale
Sponsored by the Oil & Gas Accountability Project/Earthworks. This report provides summary and background information on some of the potential issues (including radioactivity and water use concerns) that may be important to consider if full-scale development occurs in the Marcellus shale.
- Marcellus Shale Exploration and Farmland Preservation in Pennsylvania
The recent boom in drilling for natural gas will have an effect on the farmland and land trusts within the Marcellus Shale region. Preserved land will feel pressured to permit drilling if the concentration of natural gas is large enough. This paper will discuss the itnersection of drilling and farmland preservation.
- Drilling Down: Protecting Western Communities from the Health and Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Production
This report explains the relationship between oil and gas production and their negative impacts on the Rocky Mountain region's human health, air, water, and land. Also mentioned are possible simple solutions to the problems posed by oil and gas pollution such as the widely accepted "reduce, reuse, recycle" concept.
- Producing Gas from its Source
Shale, the most abundant sedimentary rock, is finally becoming economically productive. In the past it was unknown that shale could hold liquid within it's pores and drillers had often drilled through the shale and onto a more lucrative formation. Thanks to the right technology and geology, organic-rich shales are being leased out for drilling rights to discover the next shale-gas concentration.
- Water and Hydrocarbon Phase Trapping in Porous Media - Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment
The entrapment of extraneous phases within porous media can occur in a number of different situations during drilling, completion, workover and production operations. The introduction of an additional immiscible phase, or an increase in an existing phase saturation within porous media can cause deleterious relative permeability effects which can substantially impact the permeability and relative permeability to oil or gas. This phenomenon is commonly described as aqueous phase trapping or hydrocarbon phase trapping, depending on the situation under consideration. This paper describes specific conditions required for the establishment of aqueous and hydrocarbon phase traps and provides diagnostic equations to evaluate the potential severity of an aqueous phase trap in a given reservoir situation. Specific procedures are recommended for the prevention of aqueous phase traps during drilling, completion and production operations and, in a situation where phase traps are determined to exist in a reservoir, a variety of treatment techniques are presented to attempt to remove or reduce the severity of the aqueous or hydrocarbon phase trapping phenomenon.