Shale Gas: Risks, Realities, Geology, and Public Opinion

These are my notes from a seminar I attended last night. Anyone interested in shale gas and fracking should find them of interest. The event was recorded, and will hopefully arrive online in the near future.

Event: http://events.imeche.org/EventView.aspx?EventID=1634

Speaker: Richard Davies, Professor of Energy at Durham University, and Director of the Durham Energy Institute

Title: Risks and realities: shale gas, geology, and public opinion

Summary

‘Fracking’ is the process of induced hydraulic fracturing to extract methane gas from sub-surface shales. Recently, this process has been adopted by companies in the UK such as Cuadrilla, but the techniques have been met by public, media, and professional opposition. This is partly due to previous issues such as groundwater contamination in the US, and microseismicity induced by Cuadrilla in Lancashire when conducting a pilot test. What has become apparent is the lack of effective regulatory regimes, and their management, as well as a general paucity in empirical backing to the processes and risks. These issues need to be addressed before further shale gas exploration and extraction is conducted.

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