Tomorrow: Armour College of Engineering and WISER Lecture on Shale Gas Extraction

The Armour College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering is co-sponsoring a lecture with the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research from 3:15-4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in the Perlstein Hall Auditorium, Room 131. The lecture, “Opportunities and Challenges in Unconventional (Shale) Gas Extraction,” will feature Dr. Radisav D. Vidic who is the William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. RSVP today.

Natural gas from unconventional sources has been gaining the overall share of energy market in the United States and in the world. The Marcellus Shale is a geologic formation located approximately 7,000 feet below the surface in parts of Pennsylvania (almost 70 percent of Pennsylvania sits atop the Marcellus Shale formation), West Virginia, and New York, that is estimated to contain up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with about $500 billion worth of recoverable gas. Gas recovery from deep shale formations like the Marcellus Shale was historically far too costly until recent advances in horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing created means of accessing these deposits. These state-of-the-art drilling methods use millions of gallons of water and have the potential to generate millions of gallons of polluted water. The movement of this water, as well as the recovery and transmission of the produced natural gas, has the potential to cause significant environmental disruption through multiple effects, including water withdrawals, wastewater disposal, air toxic releases, truck traffic, and noise pollution. These technical and environmental issues must be understood and properly addressed in order to fully utilize all the benefits of this energy resource. This presentation will address water management alternatives and their environmental implications.