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Sample records for albany shale gas

  1. Correlation of natural gas content to iron species in the New Albany shale group

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shiley, R.H.; Cluff, R.M.; Dickerson, D.R.; Hinckley, C.C.; Smith, Gerard V.; Twardowska, H.; Saporoschenko, Mykola

    1981-01-01

    Mo??ssbauer parameters were obtained for four Illinois Basin shales and their corresponding < 2??m clay fractions from wells drilled through the New Albany Shale Group in Henderson, Tazewell, and Effingham counties in Illinois and Christian County in Kentucky. Off-gas analysis indicated that the Illinois cores were in an area of low gas potential, while the Kentucky core was in an area of moderate-to-good potential. Iron-rich dolomite (ankerite) was found in the Kentucky core but not in the Illinois cores. In the Kentucky core, gas content could be correlated with the ankerite in the bulk sample, the Mo??ssbauer M (2) species in the clay fraction, and a ferrous iron species in the clay fraction. The location of the greatest concentration of natural gas in the Kentucky core could be predicted by following the changes in percentage concentration of these iron species when plotted against the depth of burial of the core sample. ?? 1981.

  2. Studies of New Albany shale in western Kentucky. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schwalb, H.R.; Norris, R.L.

    1980-02-01

    The New Albany (Upper Devonian) Shale in western Kentucky can be zoned by using correlative characteristics distinguishable on wire-line logs. Wells drilled through the shale which were logged by various methods provided a basis for zonation of the subsurface members and units of the Grassy Creek, Sweetland Creek, and Blocher. Structure and isopach maps and cross sections were prepared. The Hannibal Shale and Rockford Limestone were found in limited areas; isopach maps were not made for these members. Samples of cuttings from selected wells were studied in order to identify the contact of the shale with underlying and overlying rock units. A well-site examination of cuttings through the shale section was conducted, and the presence of natural gas was observed in the field. The New Albany Shale has the potential for additional commercially marketable natural gas production. Exploratory drilling is needed to evaluate the reservoir characteristics of the New Albany Shale.

  3. Geochemical constraints on the origin and volume of gas in the New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian), eastern Illinois Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strapoc, D.; Mastalerz, Maria; Schimmelmann, A.; Drobniak, A.; Hasenmueller, N.R.

    2010-01-01

    This study involved analyses of kerogen petrography, gas desorption, geochemistry, microporosity, and mesoporosity of the New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian) in the eastern part of the Illinois Basin. Specifically, detailed core analysis from two locations, one in Owen County, Indiana, and one in Pike County, Indiana, has been conducted. The gas content in the locations studied was primarily dependent on total organic carbon content and the micropore volume of the shales. Gas origin was assessed using stable isotope geochemistry. Measured and modeled vitrinite reflectance values were compared. Depth of burial and formation water salinity dictated different dominant origins of the gas in place in the two locations studied in detail. The shallower Owen County location (415-433 m [1362-1421 ft] deep) contained significant additions of microbial methane, whereas the Pike County location (832-860 m [2730-2822 ft] deep) was characterized exclusively by thermogenic gas. Despite differences in the gas origin, the total gas in both locations was similar, reaching up to 2.1 cm3/g (66 scf/ton). Lower thermogenic gas content in the shallower location (lower maturity and higher loss of gas related to uplift and leakage via relaxed fractures) was compensated for by the additional generation of microbial methane, which was stimulated by an influx of glacial melt water, inducing brine dilution and microbial inoculation. The characteristics of the shale of the Maquoketa Group (Ordovician) in the Pike County location are briefly discussed to provide a comparison to the New Albany Shale. Copyright ??2010. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  4. Geologic and geochemical studies of the New Albany Shale Group (Devonian-Mississippian) in Illinois. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bergstrom, R.E.; Shimp, N.F.

    1980-06-30

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is conducting geological and geochemical investigations to evaluate the potential of New Albany Group shales as a source of hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas. Geological studies include stratigraphy and structure, mineralogic and petrographic characterization; analyses of physical properties; and development of a computer-based resources evaluation system. Geochemical studies include organic carbon content and trace elements; hydrocarbon content and composition; and adsorption/desorption studies of gas through shales. Separate abstracts have been prepared for each task reported.

  5. Organic geochemical characterization of the New Albany Shale group in the Illinois Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chou, I.-Ming; Dickerson, D.R.

    1985-01-01

    Benzene extractable aliphatic hydrocarbons from the New Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin were characterized by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, and the total organic matter of the shale was characterized by solid state carbon-13 cross polarization magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance. Core samples from a northwest-trending cross-section of the Illinois Basin were studied. Gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis (GC/MS) data indicate a regional variation of the aliphatic composition of the shale extracts. A positive, linear relationship between the two ratios, pristane/n-C17 and phytane/n-C18, is indicated. The NMR results indicated that organic matter deposited in northwestern Illinois shale is relatively high in aliphatic hydrocarbon content while, in contrast, organic matter found in southeastern Illinois shale is relatively low in aliphatic hydrocarbon content. Our findings suggest that the organic variation of the shale is mainly due to the differences in thermal maturity of the shale organic matter and the use of pristane/n-C17 ratio as a thermal parameter in the study of oil may be extended to the study of the ancient sediments. ?? 1985.

  6. New Albany shale flash pyrolysis under hot-recycled-solid conditions: Chemistry and kinetics, II

    SciTech Connect

    Coburn, T.T.; Morris, C.J.

    1990-11-01

    The authors are continuing a study of recycle retorting of eastern and western oil shales using burnt shale as the solid heat carrier. Stripping of adsorbed oil from solid surfaces rather than the primary pyrolysis of kerogen apparently controls the release rate of the last 10--20% of hydrocarbons. Thus, the desorption rate defines the time necessary for oil recovery from a retort and sets the minimum hold-time in the pyrolyzer. A fluidized-bed oil shale retort resembles a fluidized-bed cat cracker in this respect. Recycled burnt shale cokes oil and reduces yield. The kerogen H/C ratio sets an upper limit on yield improvements unless external hydrogen donors are introduced. Steam can react with iron compounds to add to the H-donor pool. Increased oil yield when New Albany Shale pyrolyzes under hot-recycled-solid, steam-fluidization conditions has been confirmed and compared with steam retorting of acid-leached Colorado oil shale. In addition, with retorted, but unburnt, Devonian shale present at a recycle ratio of 3, the authors obtain 50% more oil-plus-gas than with burnt shale present. Procedures to make burnt shale more like unburnt shale can realize some increase in oil yield at high recycle ratios. Reduction with H{sub 2} and carbon deposition are possibilities that the authors have tested in the laboratory and can test in the pilot retort. Also, eastern spent shale burned at a high temperature (775 C, for example) cokes less oil than does spent shale burned at a low temperature (475 C). Changes in surface area with burn temperature contribute to this effect. 15 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Gas shale/oil shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fishman, N.S.; Bereskin, S.R.; Bowker, K.A.; Cardott, B.J.; Chidsey, T.C.; Dubiel, R.F.; Enomoto, C.B.; Harrison, W.B.; Jarvie, D.M.; Jenkins, C.L.; LeFever, J.A.; Li, Peng; McCracken, J.N.; Morgan, C.D.; Nordeng, S.H.; Nyahay, R.E.; Schamel, Steven; Sumner, R.L.; Wray, L.L.

    2011-01-01

    This report provides information about specific shales across North America and Europe from which gas (biogenic or thermogenic), oil, or natural gas liquids are produced or is actively being explored. The intent is to re?ect the recently expanded mission of the Energy Minerals Division (EMD) Gas Shales Committee to serve as a single point of access to technical information on shales regardless of the type of hydrocarbon produced from them. The contents of this report were drawn largely from contributions by numerous members of the EMD Gas Shales Advisory Committee, with much of the data being available from public websites such as state or provincial geological surveys or other public institutions. Shales from which gas or oil is being produced in the United States are listed in alphabetical order by shale name. Information for Canada is presented by province, whereas for Europe, it is presented by country.

  8. Characterization of the oil shale of the New Albany Shale in Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leininger, R.K.; Hailer, J.G.; Shaffer, N.R.

    1984-01-01

    In the 1920's chemical and mineralogic characterization of the New Albany Shale (Mississippian-Devonian) in Indiana showed the dark shale to be rich in organic material and have commercial possibilities. Projects in the 1960's resulted in disparaging descriptions of exiguous fossil record, monotonous mineralogy, and intractable chemistry. Since 1978 expanded efforts have yielded much new information but new problems as well. Although organic carbon and total sulfur show positive correlation, two nearly exclusive populations exist. Material high in organic carbon is more depleted in C13 than material with less organic carbon. A bed usually at the top of the unit hosts anomalous accumulations of heavy metals and contains concentrations in similar ratios to those of sea water except for Mo and Pb and shows very negative ??S34. Heat content as Btu/lb, organic carbon (total less inorganic), and Fischer assay oil-yields generally correlate, but one is not an accurate predictor of the others.

  9. Thermal maturity of type II kerogen from the New Albany Shale assessed by 13C CP/MAS NMR.

    PubMed

    Werner-Zwanziger, Ulrike; Lis, Grzegorz; Mastalerz, Maria; Schimmelmann, Arndt

    2005-01-01

    Thermal maturity of oil and gas source rocks is typically quantified in terms of vitrinite reflectance, which is based on optical properties of terrestrial woody remains. This study evaluates 13C CP/MAS NMR parameters in kerogen (i.e., the insoluble fraction of organic matter in sediments and sedimentary rocks) as proxies for thermal maturity in marine-derived source rocks where terrestrially derived vitrinite is often absent or sparse. In a suite of samples from the New Albany Shale (Middle Devonian to the Early Mississippian, Illinois Basin) the abundance of aromatic carbon in kerogen determined by 13C CP/MAS NMR correlates linearly well with vitrinite reflectance.

  10. Characterization of DOE reference oil shales: Mahogany Zone, Parachute Creek Member, Green River Formation Oil Shale, and Clegg Creek Member, New Albany Shale

    SciTech Connect

    Miknis, F. P.; Robertson, R. E.

    1987-09-01

    Measurements have been made on the chemical and physical properties of two oil shales designated as reference oil shales by the Department of Energy. One oil shale is a Green River Formation, Parachute Creek Member, Mahogany Zone Colorado oil shale from the Exxon Colony mine and the other is a Clegg Creek Member, New Albany shale from Kentucky. Material balance Fischer assays, carbon aromaticities, thermal properties, and bulk mineralogic properties have been determined for the oil shales. Kerogen concentrates were prepared from both shales. The measured properties of the reference shales are comparable to results obtained from previous studies on similar shales. The western reference shale has a low carbon aromaticity, high Fischer assay conversion to oil, and a dominant carbonate mineralogy. The eastern reference shale has a high carbon aromaticity, low Fischer assay conversion to oil, and a dominant silicate mineralogy. Chemical and physical properties, including ASTM distillations, have been determined for shale oils produced from the reference shales. The distillation data were used in conjunction with API correlations to calculate a large number of shale oil properties that are required for computer models such as ASPEN. There was poor agreement between measured and calculated molecular weights for the total shale oil produced from each shale. However, measured and calculated molecular weights agreed reasonably well for true boiling point distillate fractions in the temperature range of 204 to 399/sup 0/C (400 to 750/sup 0/F). Similarly, measured and calculated viscosities of the total shale oils were in disagreement, whereas good agreement was obtained on distillate fractions for a boiling range up to 315/sup 0/C (600/sup 0/F). Thermal and dielectric properties were determined for the shales and shale oils. The dielectric properties of the reference shales and shale oils decreased with increasing frequency of the applied frequency. 42 refs., 34 figs., 24

  11. The New Albany Shale Petroleum System, Illinois Basin - Data and Map Image Archive from the Material-Balance Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higley, Debra K.; Henry, M.E.; Lewan, M.D.; Pitman, J.K.

    2003-01-01

    The data files and explanations presented in this report were used to generate published material-balance approach estimates of amounts of petroleum 1) expelled from a source rock, and the sum of 2) petroleum discovered in-place plus that lost due to 3) secondary migration within, or leakage or erosion from a petroleum system. This study includes assessment of cumulative production, known petroleum volume, and original oil in place for hydrocarbons that were generated from the New Albany Shale source rocks.More than 4.00 billion barrels of oil (BBO) have been produced from Pennsylvanian-, Mississippian-, Devonian-, and Silurian-age reservoirs in the New Albany Shale petroleum system. Known petroleum volume is 4.16 BBO; the average recovery factor is 103.9% of the current cumulative production. Known petroleum volume of oil is 36.22% of the total original oil in place of 11.45 BBO. More than 140.4 BBO have been generated from the Upper Devonian and Lower Mississippian New Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin. Approximately 86.29 billion barrels of oil that was trapped south of the Cottage Grove fault system were lost by erosion of reservoir intervals. The remaining 54.15 BBO are 21% of the hydrocarbons that were generated in the basin and are accounted for using production data. Included in this publication are 2D maps that show the distribution of production for different formations versus the Rock-Eval pyrolysis hydrogen-indices (HI) contours, and 3D images that show the close association between burial depth and HI values.The primary vertical migration pathway of oil and gas was through faults and fractures into overlying reservoir strata. About 66% of the produced oil is located within the generative basin, which is outlined by an HI contour of 400. The remaining production is concentrated within 30 miles (50 km) outside the 400 HI contour. The generative basin is subdivided by contours of progressively lower hydrogen indices that represent increased levels of

  12. Weathering of the New Albany Shale, Kentucky: II. Redistribution of minor and trace elements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tuttle, M.L.W.; Breit, G.N.; Goldhaber, M.B.

    2009-01-01

    During weathering, elements enriched in black shale are dispersed in the environment by aqueous and mechanical transport. Here a unique evaluation of the differential release, transport, and fate of Fe and 15 trace elements during progressive weathering of the Devonian New Albany Shale in Kentucky is presented. Results of chemical analyses along a weathering profile (unweathered through progressively weathered shale to soil) describe the chemically distinct pathways of the trace elements and the rate that elements are transferred into the broader, local environment. Trace elements enriched in the unweathered shale are in massive or framboidal pyrite, minor sphalerite, CuS and NiS phases, organic matter and clay minerals. These phases are subject to varying degrees and rates of alteration along the profile. Cadmium, Co, Mn, Ni, and Zn are removed from weathered shale during sulfide-mineral oxidation and transported primarily in aqueous solution. The aqueous fluxes for these trace elements range from 0.1 g/ha/a (Cd) to 44 g/ha/a (Mn). When hydrologic and climatic conditions are favorable, solutions seep to surface exposures, evaporate, and form Fe-sulfate efflorescent salts rich in these elements. Elements that remain dissolved in the low pH (<4) streams and groundwater draining New Albany Shale watersheds become fixed by reactions that increase pH. Neutralization of the weathering solution in local streams results in elements being adsorbed and precipitated onto sediment surfaces, resulting in trace element anomalies. Other elements are strongly adsorbed or structurally bound to solid phases during weathering. Copper and U initially are concentrated in weathering solutions, but become fixed to modern plant litter in soil formed on New Albany Shale. Molybdenum, Pb, Sb, and Se are released from sulfide minerals and organic matter by oxidation and accumulate in Fe-oxyhydroxide clay coatings that concentrate in surface soil during illuviation. Chromium, Ti, and V are

  13. New aromatic biomarkers and possible maturity indicators found in New Albany Shale extracts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chou, I.-Ming; Wood, K.V.

    1986-01-01

    Aromatic hydrocarbons from benzene extracts of New Albany Shale were characterized. A biomarker that has a molecular weight of 546 and a structural configuration consistent with that of an alkyl-aromatic hydrocarbon (C40H66) was tentatively identified. It was found that the relative concentrations of the biomarker are indicative of differing levels of thermal maturity of the shale organic matter. A 40-carbon bicyclic carotenoid (C40H48) is proposed as the geochemical precursor of this biomarker. Thermal maturity of the shale organic matter can also be differentiated by observing differences in "fingerprints" as obtained by field-ionization mass spectrometry on the aromatic hydrocarbon fraction. Using this technique, we found that the more mature shale samples from southeastern Illinois contain more low molecular weight extractable aromatic hydrocarbons and the less mature shale samples from northwestern Illinois contain more high molecular weight extractable aromatic hydrocarbons. It was demonstrated that field-ionization and tandem mass spectrometric techniques through fingerprint and individual compound identification, are useful for shale aromatic hydrocarbon fraction characterization and for thermal maturation interpretation. ?? 1986.

  14. Thermal maturity of type II kerogen from the New Albany Shale assessed by13C CP/MAS NMR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Werner-Zwanziger, U.; Lis, G.; Mastalerz, Maria; Schimmelmann, A.

    2005-01-01

    Thermal maturity of oil and gas source rocks is typically quantified in terms of vitrinite reflectance, which is based on optical properties of terrestrial woody remains. This study evaluates 13C CP/MAS NMR parameters in kerogen (i.e., the insoluble fraction of organic matter in sediments and sedimentary rocks) as proxies for thermal maturity in marine-derived source rocks where terrestrially derived vitrinite is often absent or sparse. In a suite of samples from the New Albany Shale (Middle Devonian to the Early Mississippian, Illinois Basin) the abundance of aromatic carbon in kerogen determined by 13C CP/MAS NMR correlates linearly well with vitrinite reflectance. ?? 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The flora of the New Albany shale; Part 2, The Calamopityeae and their relationships

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Read, Charles B.

    1937-01-01

    Material referable to Calamopitys americana, Calamopitys foerstei, Stenomyelon muratum, Kalymma lirata, Kalymma resinosa, and Kalymma auriculata, from the upper portion of the New Albany shale in central Kentucky, is described. All these species are based on the internal structure of stems and petioles. The suggestion is made that the genus Stenomyelon should be included in the family Calamopityeae rather than in a separate family. Relationships of the several species and genera belonging to the Calamopityeae are discussed, and it is recommended that the name Calamopitys be restricted to manoxylic forms (C. saturni Unger, etc.), that Eristophyton be used for the pycnoxylic species which have in the past been placed in Calamopitys, and that Sphenoxylon be adopted for the American species which has been called Calamopitys eupunctata. It is pointed out that the Calamopityeae may be divided, naturally, into two major groups-a manoxylic, protostelic group and a pycnoxylic, medullated group. Stenomyelon is probably in the lineage of the more primitive Calamopityeae, and Endoxylon is presumably the most advanced type now known.

  16. Weathering of the New Albany Shale, Kentucky, USA: I. Weathering zones defined by mineralogy and major-element composition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tuttle, M.L.W.; Breit, G.N.

    2009-01-01

    Comprehensive understanding of chemical and mineralogical changes induced by weathering is valuable information when considering the supply of nutrients and toxic elements from rocks. Here minerals that release and fix major elements during progressive weathering of a bed of Devonian New Albany Shale in eastern Kentucky are documented. Samples were collected from unweathered core (parent shale) and across an outcrop excavated into a hillside 40 year prior to sampling. Quantitative X-ray diffraction mineralogical data record progressive shale alteration across the outcrop. Mineral compositional changes reflect subtle alteration processes such as incongruent dissolution and cation exchange. Altered primary minerals include K-feldspars, plagioclase, calcite, pyrite, and chlorite. Secondary minerals include jarosite, gypsum, goethite, amorphous Fe(III) oxides and Fe(II)-Al sulfate salt (efflorescence). The mineralogy in weathered shale defines four weathered intervals on the outcrop-Zones A-C and soil. Alteration of the weakly weathered shale (Zone A) is attributed to the 40-a exposure of the shale. In this zone, pyrite oxidization produces acid that dissolves calcite and attacks chlorite, forming gypsum, jarosite, and minor efflorescent salt. The pre-excavation, active weathering front (Zone B) is where complete pyrite oxidation and alteration of feldspar and organic matter result in increased permeability. Acidic weathering solutions seep through the permeable shale and evaporate on the surface forming abundant efflorescent salt, jarosite and minor goethite. Intensely weathered shale (Zone C) is depleted in feldspars, chlorite, gypsum, jarosite and efflorescent salts, but has retained much of its primary quartz, illite and illite-smectite. Goethite and amorphous FE(III) oxides increase due to hydrolysis of jarosite. Enhanced permeability in this zone is due to a 14% loss of the original mass in parent shale. Denudation rates suggest that characteristics of Zone C

  17. The carpenter fork bed, a new - and older - Black-shale unit at the base of the New Albany shale in central Kentucky: Characterization and significance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnett, S.F.; Ettensohn, F.R.; Norby, R.D.

    1996-01-01

    Black shales previously interpreted to be Late Devonian cave-fill or slide deposits are shown to be much older Middle Devonian black shales only preserved locally in Middle Devonian grabens and structural lows in central Kentucky. This newly recognized - and older -black-shale unit occurs at the base of the New Albany Shale and is named the Carpenter Fork Bed of the Portwood Member of the New Albany Shale after its only known exposure on Carpenter Fork in Boyle County, central Kentucky; two other occurrences are known from core holes in east-central Kentucky. Based on stratigraphic position and conodont biostratigraphy, the unit is Middle Devonian (Givetian: probably Middle to Upper P. varcus Zone) in age and occurs at a position represented by an unconformity atop the Middle Devonian Boyle Dolostone and its equivalents elsewhere on the outcrop belt. Based on its presence as isolated clasts in the overlying Duffin Bed of the Portwood Member, the former distribution of the unit was probably much more widespread - perhaps occurring throughout western parts of the Rome trough. Carpenter Fork black shales apparently represent an episode of subsidence or sea-level rise coincident with inception of the third tectophase of the Acadian orogeny. Deposition, however, was soon interrupted by reactivation of several fault zones in central Kentucky, perhaps in response to bulge migration accompanying start of the tectophase. As a result, much of central Kentucky was uplifted and tilted, and the Carpenter Fork Bed was largely eroded from the top of the Boyle, except in a few structural lows like the Carpenter Fork graben where a nearly complete record of Middle to early Late Devonian deposition is preserved.

  18. Inorganic ground-water chemistry at an experimental New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian) in situ gasification site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Branam, T.D.; Comer, J.B.; Shaffer, N.R.; Ennis, M.V.; Carpenter, S.H.

    1991-01-01

    Experimental in situ gasification of New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian) has been conducted in Clark County. Analyses of ground water sampled from a production well and nine nearby monitoring wells 3 months after a brief in situ gasification period revealed changes in water chemistry associated with the gasification procedure. Dissolved iron, calcium and sulphate in ground water from the production well and wells as much as 2 m away were significantly higher than in ground water from wells over 9 m away. Dissolved components in the more distant wells are in the range of those in regional ground water. Thermal decomposition of pyrite during the gasification process generated the elevated levels of iron and sulphate in solution. High concentrations of calcium indicate buffering by dissolution of carbonate minerals. While iron quickly precipitates, calcium and sulphate remain in the ground water. Trends in the concentration of sulphate show that altered ground water migrated mostly in a south-westerly direction from the production well along natural joints in the New Albany Shale. ?? 1991.

  19. Tectonic and flexural significance of Middle Devonian graben-fill sequence in new Albany shale, central Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Barnett, S.F.; Ettensohn, F.R.; Mellon, C. )

    1989-08-01

    The third tectonic phase of the Acadian orogeny began in the late Middle Devonian, and the sedimentary record of that event is largely restricted to the deeper, more proximal portions of the Appalachian foreland and Illinois intercratonic basins. Much of the intervening area, on and near the Cincinnati arch, was uplifted and subjected to erosion by movement on the peripheral bulge accompanying the initiation of the third tectonic phase. However, bulge movement also reactivated basement fault systems in Kentucky and created a series of grabens that were filled with eroded sediments and debris flows from adjacent horsts. Although rarely preserved, a buried Devonian graben along Carpenter Fork in Boyle County, central Kentucky, reveals such a sequence. The graben is bounded by upthrown blocks of Middle Devonian Boyle Dolomite, which also floors the graben. Within the graben a black-shale unit, apparently absent elsewhere, conformably overlies the Boyle and grades upward into debris-flow deposits represented by the Duffin breccia facies of the New Albany Shale. The Duffin contains clasts of the shale, as well as of chert, silicified fossils, and fine to boulder-size dolostone clasts eroded from the Boyle high on the flanks of the graben. The underlying shale also exhibits evidence of penecontemporaneous soft-sediment deformation related to the debris-flow emplacement of Boyle residue in the graben and due to later loading by the Duffin.

  20. Geochemical and isotopic evidence for paleoredox conditions during deposition of the Devonian-Mississippian New Albany Shale, southern Indiana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beier, J. A.; Hayes, J. M.

    1989-01-01

    The upper part of the New Albany Shale is divided into three members. In ascending order, these are (1) the Morgan Trail Member, a laminated brownish-black shale; (2) the Camp Run Member, an interbedded brownish-black and greenish-gray shale; and (3) the Clegg Creek Member, also a laminated brownish-black shale. The Morgan Trail and Camp Run Members contain 5% to 6% total organic carbon (TOC) and 2% sulfide sulfur. Isotopic composition of sulfide in these members ranges from -5.0% to -20.0%. C/S plots indicate linear relationships between abundances of these elements, with a zero intercept characteristic of sediments deposited in a non-euxinic marine environment. Formation of diagenetic pyrite was carbon limited in these members. The Clegg Creek Member contains 10% to 15% TOC and 2% to 6% sulfide sulfur. Isotopic compositions of sulfide range from -5.0% to -40%. The most negative values occur in the uppermost Clegg Creek Member and are characteristic of syngenetic pyrite, formed within an anoxic water column. Abundances of carbon and sulfur are greater and uncorrelated in this member, consistent with deposition in as euxinic environment. In addition, DOP (degree of pyritization) values suggest that formation of pyrite was generally iron limited throughout Clegg Creek deposition, but sulfur isotopes indicate that syngenetic (water-column) pyrite becomes an important component in the sediment only in the upper part of the member. At the top of the Clegg Creek Member, a zone of phosphate nodules and trace-metal enrichment coincides with maximal TOC values. During euxinic deposition, phosphate and trace metals accumulated below the chemocline because of limited vertical circulation in the water column. Increased productivity would have resulted in an increased flux of particulate organic matter to the sediment, providing an effective sink for trace metals in the water column. Phosphate and trace metals released from organic matter during early diagenesis resulted in

  1. Organic Substances from Unconventional Oil and Gas Production in Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orem, W. H.; Varonka, M.; Crosby, L.; Schell, T.; Bates, A.; Engle, M.

    2014-12-01

    Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) production has emerged as an important element in the US and world energy mix. Technological innovations in the oil and gas industry, especially horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, allow for the enhanced release of oil and natural gas from shale compared to conventional oil and gas production. This has made commercial exploitation possible on a large scale. Although UOG is enormously successful, there is surprisingly little known about the effects of this technology on the targeted shale formation and on environmental impacts of oil and gas production at the surface. We examined water samples from both conventional and UOG shale wells to determine the composition, source and fate of organic substances present. Extraction of hydrocarbon from shale plays involves the creation and expansion of fractures through the hydraulic fracturing process. This process involves the injection of large volumes of a water-sand mix treated with organic and inorganic chemicals to assist the process and prop open the fractures created. Formation water from a well in the New Albany Shale that was not hydraulically fractured (no injected chemicals) had total organic carbon (TOC) levels that averaged 8 mg/L, and organic substances that included: long-chain fatty acids, alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic compounds, alkyl benzenes, and alkyl phenols. In contrast, water from UOG production in the Marcellus Shale had TOC levels as high as 5,500 mg/L, and contained a range of organic chemicals including, solvents, biocides, scale inhibitors, and other organic chemicals at thousands of μg/L for individual compounds. These chemicals and TOC decreased rapidly over the first 20 days of water recovery as injected fluids were recovered, but residual organic compounds (some naturally-occurring) remained up to 250 days after the start of water recovery (TOC 10-30 mg/L). Results show how hydraulic fracturing changes the organic

  2. Paleoenvironment of the New Albany Shale Group ( Devonian- Mississippian) of Illinois.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cluff, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    The distribution of lithofacies was determined by wave energy, bottom oxygenation, and bottom topography in a deep water stratified anoxic basin. At the basin margin high energy, very shallow conditions are recorded by oolitic-skeletal grainstones and packstones with abundant brachiopods, crinoids and trilobites. Offshore, less agitated areas are represented by highly bioturbated carbonate wackestones, argillaceous quartz siltstones, and greenish-gray mudstones. Calcified invertebrates are generally rare, indicating dysaerobic conditions. Basinward, slope areas are characterized by olive-gray to black, weakly bioturbated shales commonly interbedded with thickly laminated black shales. Trace fossils are abundant. Anaerobic conditions prevailed in the deepest areas where finely laminated, undisturbed, pelagic black shales were deposited.- from Author

  3. Assessment of potential shale-oil and shale-gas resources in Silurian shales of Jordan, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Pitman, Janet K.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Nelson, Philip H.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Pawlewicz, Mark J.; Wandrey, Craig J.

    2014-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 11 million barrels of potential shale-oil and 320 billion cubic feet of shale-gas resources in Silurian shales of Jordan.

  4. Characterization of fractures and flow zones in a contaminated shale at the Watervliet Arsenal, Albany County, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, John H.; Paillet, Frederick L.

    2002-01-01

    Flow zones in a fractured shale in and near a plume of volatile organic compounds at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany County, N. Y. were characterized through the integrated analysis of geophysical logs and single- and cross-hole flow tests. Information on the fracture-flow network at the site was needed to design an effective groundwater monitoring system, estimate offsite contaminant migration, and evaluate potential containment and remedial actions. Four newly drilled coreholes and four older monitoring wells were logged and tested to define the distribution and orientation of fractures that intersected a combined total of 500 feet of open hole. Analysis of borehole-wall image logs obtained with acoustic and optical televiewers indicated 79 subhorizontal to steeply dipping fractures with a wide range of dip directions. Analysis of fluid resistivity, temperature, and heat-pulse and electromagnetic flowmeter logs obtained under ambient and short-term stressed conditions identified 14 flow zones, which consist of one to several fractures and whose estimated transmissivity values range from 0.1 to more than 250 feet squared per day. Cross-hole flow tests, which were used to characterize the hydraulic connection between fracture-flow zones intersected by the boreholes, entailed (1) injection into or extraction from boreholes that penetrated a single fracture-flow zone or whose zones were isolated by an inflatable packer, and (2) measurement of the transient response of water levels and flow in surrounding boreholes. Results indicate a wellconnected fracture network with an estimated transmissivity of 80 to 250 feet squared per day that extends for at least 200 feet across the site. This interconnected fracture-flow network greatly affects the hydrology of the site and has important implications for contaminant monitoring and remedial actions.

  5. Characterization of fractures and flow zones in a contaminated shale at the Watervliet Arsenal, Albany County, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, John H.; Paillet, Frederick L.

    2002-01-01

    Flow zones in a fractured shale in and near a plume of volatile organic compounds at the Watervliet Arsenal in Albany County, N. Y. were characterized through the integrated analysis of geophysical logs and single- and cross-hole flow tests. Information on the fracture-flow network at the site was needed to design an effective groundwater monitoring system, estimate offsite contaminant migration, and evaluate potential containment and remedial actions.Four newly drilled coreholes and four older monitoring wells were logged and tested to define the distribution and orientation of fractures that intersected a combined total of 500 feet of open hole. Analysis of borehole-wall image logs obtained with acoustic and optical televiewers indicated 79 subhorizontal to steeply dipping fractures with a wide range of dip directions. Analysis of fluid resistivity, temperature, and heat-pulse and electromagnetic flowmeter logs obtained under ambient and short-term stressed conditions identified 14 flow zones, which consist of one to several fractures and whose estimated transmissivity values range from 0.1 to more than 250 feet squared per day.Cross-hole flow tests, which were used to characterize the hydraulic connection between fracture-flow zones intersected by the boreholes, entailed (1) injection into or extraction from boreholes that penetrated a single fracture-flow zone or whose zones were isolated by an inflatable packer, and (2) measurement of the transient response of water levels and flow in surrounding boreholes. Results indicate a wellconnected fracture network with an estimated transmissivity of 80 to 250 feet squared per day that extends for at least 200 feet across the site. This interconnected fracture-flow network greatly affects the hydrology of the site and has important implications for contaminant monitoring and remedial actions.

  6. Shale Gas: Development Opportunities and Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Zoback, Mark D.; Arent, Douglas J.

    2014-03-01

    The use of horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing technologies has enabled the production of immense quantities of natural gas, to date principally in North America but increasingly in other countries around the world. The global availability of this resource creates both opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed in a timely and effective manner. There seems little question that rapid shale gas development, coupled with fuel switching from coal to natural gas for power generation, can have beneficial effects on air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy security in many countries. In this context, shale gas resources represent a critically important transition fuel on the path to a decarbonized energy future. For these benefits to be realized, however, it is imperative that shale gas resources be developed with effective environmental safeguards to reduce their impact on land use, water resources, air quality, and nearby communities.

  7. Life-cycle analysis of shale gas and natural gas.

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.E.; Han, J.; Burnham, A.; Dunn, J.B.; Wang, M.

    2012-01-27

    The technologies and practices that have enabled the recent boom in shale gas production have also brought attention to the environmental impacts of its use. Using the current state of knowledge of the recovery, processing, and distribution of shale gas and conventional natural gas, we have estimated up-to-date, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we have developed distribution functions for key parameters in each pathway to examine uncertainty and identify data gaps - such as methane emissions from shale gas well completions and conventional natural gas liquid unloadings - that need to be addressed further. Our base case results show that shale gas life-cycle emissions are 6% lower than those of conventional natural gas. However, the range in values for shale and conventional gas overlap, so there is a statistical uncertainty regarding whether shale gas emissions are indeed lower than conventional gas emissions. This life-cycle analysis provides insight into the critical stages in the natural gas industry where emissions occur and where opportunities exist to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

  8. Shale gas development: a smart regulation framework.

    PubMed

    Konschnik, Katherine E; Boling, Mark K

    2014-01-01

    Advances in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have sparked a natural gas boom from shale formations in the United States. Regulators face a rapidly changing industry comprised of hundreds of players, operating tens of thousands of wells across 30 states. They are often challenged to respond by budget cuts, a brain drain to industry, regulations designed for conventional gas developments, insufficient information, and deeply polarized debates about hydraulic fracturing and its regulation. As a result, shale gas governance remains a halting patchwork of rules, undermining opportunities to effectively characterize and mitigate development risk. The situation is dynamic, with research and incremental regulatory advances underway. Into this mix, we offer the CO/RE framework--characterization of risk, optimization of mitigation strategies, regulation, and enforcement--to design tailored governance strategies. We then apply CO/RE to three types of shale gas risks, to illustrate its potential utility to regulators.

  9. Oil shale, shale oil, shale gas and non-conventional hydrocarbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerici, A.; Alimonti, G.

    2015-08-01

    In recent years there has been a world "revolution" in the field of unconventional hydrocarbon reserves, which goes by the name of "shale gas", gas contained inside clay sediments micropores. Shale gas finds particular development in the United States, which are now independent of imports and see a price reduction to less than one third of that in Europe. With the high oil prices, in addition to the non-conventional gas also "oil shales" (fine-grained sedimentary rocks that contain a large amount of organic material to be used both to be directly burned or to extract liquid fuels which go under the name of shale oil), extra heavy oils and bitumen are becoming an industrial reality. Both unconventional gas and oil reserves far exceed in the world the conventional oil and gas reserves, subverting the theory of fossil fuels scarcity. Values and location of these new fossil reserves in different countries and their production by comparison with conventional resources are presented. In view of the clear advantages of unconventional fossil resources, the potential environmental risks associated with their extraction and processing are also highlighted.

  10. Review of Emerging Resources: U.S. Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays

    EIA Publications

    2011-01-01

    To gain a better understanding of the potential U.S. domestic shale gas and shale oil resources, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) commissioned INTEK, Inc. to develop an assessment of onshore lower 48 states technically recoverable shale gas and shale oil resources. This paper briefly describes the scope, methodology, and key results of the report and discusses the key assumptions that underlie the results.

  11. [Chemical hazards arising from shale gas extraction].

    PubMed

    Pakulska, Daria

    2015-01-01

    The development of the shale industry is gaining momentum and hence the analysis of chemical hazards to the environment and health of the local population is extreiely timely and important. Chemical hazards are created during the exploitation of all minerals, but in the case of shale gas production, there is much more uncertainty as regards to the effects of new technologies application. American experience suggests the increasing risk of environmental contamination, mainly groundwater. The greatest, concern is the incomplete knowledge of the composition of fluids used for fracturing shale rock and unpredictability of long-term effects of hydraulic fracturing for the environment and health of residents. High population density in the old continent causes the problem of chemical hazards which is much larger than in the USA. Despite the growing public discontent data on this subject are limited. First of all, there is no epidemiological studies to assess the relationship between risk factors, such as air and water pollution, and health effects in populations living in close proximity to gas wells. The aim of this article is to identify and discuss existing concepts on the sources of environmental contamination, an indication of the environment elements under pressure and potential health risks arising from shale gas extraction.

  12. Rapid gas development in the Fayetteville shale basin, Arkansas

    EPA Science Inventory

    Advances in drilling and extraction of natural gas have resulted in rapid expansion of wells in shale basins. The rate of gas well installation in the Fayetteville shale is 774 wells a year since 2005 with thousands more planned. The Fayetteville shale covers 23,000 km2 although ...

  13. Introduction to special section: China shale gas and shale oil plays

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jiang, Shu; Zeng, Hongliu; Zhang, Jinchuan; Fishman, Neil; Bai, Baojun; Xiao, Xianming; Zhang, Tongwei; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Li, Xinjing; Richards-McClung, Bryony; Cai, Dongsheng; Ma, Yongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Even though China shale gas and shale oil exploration is still in an early stage, limited data are already available. We are pleased to have selected eight high-quality papers from fifteen submitted manuscripts for this timely section on the topic of China shale gas and shale oil plays. These selected papers discuss various subject areas including regional geology, resource potentials, integrated and multidisciplinary characterization of China shale reservoirs (geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and petrophysics) China shale property measurement using new techniques, case studies for marine, lacustrine, and transitional shale deposits in China, and hydraulic fracturing. One paper summarizes the regional geology and different tectonic and depositional settings of the major prospective shale oil and gas plays in China. Four papers concentrate on the geology, geochemistry, reservoir characterization, lithologic heterogeneity, and sweet spot identification in the Silurian Longmaxi marine shale in the Sichuan Basin in southwest China, which is currently the primary focus of shale gas exploration in China. One paper discusses the Ordovician Salgan Shale in the Tarim Basin in northwest China, and two papers focus on the reservoir characterization and hydraulic fracturing of Triassic lacustrine shale in the Ordos Basin in northern China. Each paper discusses a specific area.

  14. Low-temperature gas from marine shales

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Thermal cracking of kerogens and bitumens is widely accepted as the major source of natural gas (thermal gas). Decomposition is believed to occur at high temperatures, between 100 and 200°C in the subsurface and generally above 300°C in the laboratory. Although there are examples of gas deposits possibly generated at lower temperatures, and reports of gas generation over long periods of time at 100°C, robust gas generation below 100°C under ordinary laboratory conditions is unprecedented. Here we report gas generation under anoxic helium flow at temperatures 300° below thermal cracking temperatures. Gas is generated discontinuously, in distinct aperiodic episodes of near equal intensity. In one three-hour episode at 50°C, six percent of the hydrocarbons (kerogen & bitumen) in a Mississippian marine shale decomposed to gas (C1–C5). The same shale generated 72% less gas with helium flow containing 10 ppm O2 and the two gases were compositionally distinct. In sequential isothermal heating cycles (~1 hour), nearly five times more gas was generated at 50°C (57.4 μg C1–C5/g rock) than at 350°C by thermal cracking (12 μg C1–C5/g rock). The position that natural gas forms only at high temperatures over geologic time is based largely on pyrolysis experiments under oxic conditions and temperatures where low-temperature gas generation could be suppressed. Our results indicate two paths to gas, a high-temperature thermal path, and a low-temperature catalytic path proceeding 300° below the thermal path. It redefines the time-temperature dimensions of gas habitats and opens the possibility of gas generation at subsurface temperatures previously thought impossible. PMID:19236698

  15. Low-temperature gas from marine shales.

    PubMed

    Mango, Frank D; Jarvie, Daniel M

    2009-02-23

    Thermal cracking of kerogens and bitumens is widely accepted as the major source of natural gas (thermal gas). Decomposition is believed to occur at high temperatures, between 100 and 200 degrees C in the subsurface and generally above 300 degrees C in the laboratory. Although there are examples of gas deposits possibly generated at lower temperatures, and reports of gas generation over long periods of time at 100 degrees C, robust gas generation below 100 degrees C under ordinary laboratory conditions is unprecedented. Here we report gas generation under anoxic helium flow at temperatures 300 degrees below thermal cracking temperatures. Gas is generated discontinuously, in distinct aperiodic episodes of near equal intensity. In one three-hour episode at 50 degrees C, six percent of the hydrocarbons (kerogen & bitumen) in a Mississippian marine shale decomposed to gas (C1-C5). The same shale generated 72% less gas with helium flow containing 10 ppm O2 and the two gases were compositionally distinct. In sequential isothermal heating cycles (approximately 1 hour), nearly five times more gas was generated at 50 degrees C (57.4 microg C1-C5/g rock) than at 350 degrees C by thermal cracking (12 microg C1-C5/g rock). The position that natural gas forms only at high temperatures over geologic time is based largely on pyrolysis experiments under oxic conditions and temperatures where low-temperature gas generation could be suppressed. Our results indicate two paths to gas, a high-temperature thermal path, and a low-temperature catalytic path proceeding 300 degrees below the thermal path. It redefines the time-temperature dimensions of gas habitats and opens the possibility of gas generation at subsurface temperatures previously thought impossible.

  16. Environmental contamination due to shale gas development.

    PubMed

    Annevelink, M P J A; Meesters, J A J; Hendriks, A J

    2016-04-15

    Shale gas development potentially contaminates both air and water compartments. To assist in governmental decision-making on future explorations, we reviewed scattered information on activities, emissions and concentrations related to shale gas development. We compared concentrations from monitoring programmes to quality standards as a first indication of environmental risks. Emissions could not be estimated accurately because of incomparable and insufficient data. Air and water concentrations range widely. Poor wastewater treatment posed the highest risk with concentrations exceeding both Natural Background Values (NBVs) by a factor 1000-10,000 and Lowest Quality Standards (LQSs) by a factor 10-100. Concentrations of salts, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hydrocarbons exceeded aquatic ecotoxicological water standards. Future research must focus on measuring aerial and aquatic emissions of toxic chemicals, generalisation of experimental setups and measurement technics and further human and ecological risk assessment.

  17. Oil shale retorting with steam and produced gas

    SciTech Connect

    Merrill, L.S. Jr.; Wheaton, L.D.

    1991-08-20

    This patent describes a process for retorting oil shale in a vertical retort. It comprises introducing particles of oil shale into the retort, the particles of oil shale having a minimum size such that the particles are retained on a screen having openings 1/4 inch in size; contacting the particles of oil shale with hot gas to heat the particles of oil shale to a state of pyrolysis, thereby producing retort off-gas; removing the off-gas from the retort; cooling the off-gas; removing oil from the cooled off-gas; separating recycle gas from the off-gas, the recycle gas comprising steam and produced gas, the steam being present in amount, by volume, of at least 50% of the recycle gas so as to increase the yield of sand oil; and heating the recycle gas to form the hot gas.

  18. Shale gas development impacts on surface water quality in Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Olmstead, Sheila M.; Muehlenbachs, Lucija A.; Shih, Jhih-Shyang; Chu, Ziyan; Krupnick, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    Concern has been raised in the scientific literature about the environmental implications of extracting natural gas from deep shale formations, and published studies suggest that shale gas development may affect local groundwater quality. The potential for surface water quality degradation has been discussed in prior work, although no empirical analysis of this issue has been published. The potential for large-scale surface water quality degradation has affected regulatory approaches to shale gas development in some US states, despite the dearth of evidence. This paper conducts a large-scale examination of the extent to which shale gas development activities affect surface water quality. Focusing on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, we estimate the effect of shale gas wells and the release of treated shale gas waste by permitted treatment facilities on observed downstream concentrations of chloride (Cl−) and total suspended solids (TSS), controlling for other factors. Results suggest that (i) the treatment of shale gas waste by treatment plants in a watershed raises downstream Cl− concentrations but not TSS concentrations, and (ii) the presence of shale gas wells in a watershed raises downstream TSS concentrations but not Cl− concentrations. These results can inform future voluntary measures taken by shale gas operators and policy approaches taken by regulators to protect surface water quality as the scale of this economically important activity increases. PMID:23479604

  19. Shale gas development impacts on surface water quality in Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Olmstead, Sheila M; Muehlenbachs, Lucija A; Shih, Jhih-Shyang; Chu, Ziyan; Krupnick, Alan J

    2013-03-26

    Concern has been raised in the scientific literature about the environmental implications of extracting natural gas from deep shale formations, and published studies suggest that shale gas development may affect local groundwater quality. The potential for surface water quality degradation has been discussed in prior work, although no empirical analysis of this issue has been published. The potential for large-scale surface water quality degradation has affected regulatory approaches to shale gas development in some US states, despite the dearth of evidence. This paper conducts a large-scale examination of the extent to which shale gas development activities affect surface water quality. Focusing on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, we estimate the effect of shale gas wells and the release of treated shale gas waste by permitted treatment facilities on observed downstream concentrations of chloride (Cl(-)) and total suspended solids (TSS), controlling for other factors. Results suggest that (i) the treatment of shale gas waste by treatment plants in a watershed raises downstream Cl(-) concentrations but not TSS concentrations, and (ii) the presence of shale gas wells in a watershed raises downstream TSS concentrations but not Cl(-) concentrations. These results can inform future voluntary measures taken by shale gas operators and policy approaches taken by regulators to protect surface water quality as the scale of this economically important activity increases.

  20. Map of assessed shale gas in the United States, 2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; Biewick, Laura R. H.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey has compiled a map of shale-gas assessments in the United States that were completed by 2012 as part of the National Assessment of Oil and Gas Project. Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey quantitatively estimated potential volumes of undiscovered gas within shale-gas assessment units. These shale-gas assessment units are mapped, and square-mile cells are shown to represent proprietary shale-gas wells. The square-mile cells include gas-producing wells from shale intervals. In some cases, shale-gas formations contain gas in deeper parts of a basin and oil at shallower depths (for example, the Woodford Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale). Because a discussion of shale oil is beyond the scope of this report, only shale-gas assessment units and cells are shown. The map can be printed as a hardcopy map or downloaded for interactive analysis in a Geographic Information System data package using the ArcGIS map document (file extension MXD) and published map file (file extension PMF). Also available is a publications access table with hyperlinks to current U.S. Geological Survey shale gas assessment publications and web pages. Assessment results and geologic reports are available as completed at the U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Program Web Site, http://energy.usgs.gov/OilGas/AssessmentsData/NationalOilGasAssessment.aspx. A historical perspective of shale gas activity in the United States is documented and presented in a video clip included as a PowerPoint slideshow.

  1. Development of Porosity Measurement Method in Shale Gas Reservoir Rock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siswandani, Alita; Nurhandoko, BagusEndar B.

    2016-08-01

    The pore scales have impacts on transport mechanisms in shale gas reservoirs. In this research, digital helium porosity meter is used for porosity measurement by considering real condition. Accordingly it is necessary to obtain a good approximation for gas filled porosity. Shale has the typical effective porosity that is changing as a function of time. Effective porosity values for three different shale rocks are analyzed by this proposed measurement. We develop the new measurement method for characterizing porosity phenomena in shale gas as a time function by measuring porosity in a range of minutes using digital helium porosity meter. The porosity of shale rock measured in this experiment are free gas and adsorbed gas porosoty. The pressure change in time shows that porosity of shale contains at least two type porosities: macro scale porosity (fracture porosity) and fine scale porosity (nano scale porosity). We present the estimation of effective porosity values by considering Boyle-Gay Lussaac approximation and Van der Waals approximation.

  2. Shale gas wastewater management under uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaodong; Sun, Alexander Y; Duncan, Ian J

    2016-01-01

    This work presents an optimization framework for evaluating different wastewater treatment/disposal options for water management during hydraulic fracturing (HF) operations. This framework takes into account both cost-effectiveness and system uncertainty. HF has enabled rapid development of shale gas resources. However, wastewater management has been one of the most contentious and widely publicized issues in shale gas production. The flowback and produced water (known as FP water) generated by HF may pose a serious risk to the surrounding environment and public health because this wastewater usually contains many toxic chemicals and high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS). Various treatment/disposal options are available for FP water management, such as underground injection, hazardous wastewater treatment plants, and/or reuse. In order to cost-effectively plan FP water management practices, including allocating FP water to different options and planning treatment facility capacity expansion, an optimization model named UO-FPW is developed in this study. The UO-FPW model can handle the uncertain information expressed in the form of fuzzy membership functions and probability density functions in the modeling parameters. The UO-FPW model is applied to a representative hypothetical case study to demonstrate its applicability in practice. The modeling results reflect the tradeoffs between economic objective (i.e., minimizing total-system cost) and system reliability (i.e., risk of violating fuzzy and/or random constraints, and meeting FP water treatment/disposal requirements). Using the developed optimization model, decision makers can make and adjust appropriate FP water management strategies through refining the values of feasibility degrees for fuzzy constraints and the probability levels for random constraints if the solutions are not satisfactory. The optimization model can be easily integrated into decision support systems for shale oil/gas lifecycle

  3. Water management practices used by Fayetteville shale gas producers.

    SciTech Connect

    Veil, J. A.

    2011-06-03

    Water issues continue to play an important role in producing natural gas from shale formations. This report examines water issues relating to shale gas production in the Fayetteville Shale. In particular, the report focuses on how gas producers obtain water supplies used for drilling and hydraulically fracturing wells, how that water is transported to the well sites and stored, and how the wastewater from the wells (flowback and produced water) is managed. Last year, Argonne National Laboratory made a similar evaluation of water issues in the Marcellus Shale (Veil 2010). Gas production in the Marcellus Shale involves at least three states, many oil and gas operators, and multiple wastewater management options. Consequently, Veil (2010) provided extensive information on water. This current study is less complicated for several reasons: (1) gas production in the Fayetteville Shale is somewhat more mature and stable than production in the Marcellus Shale; (2) the Fayetteville Shale underlies a single state (Arkansas); (3) there are only a few gas producers that operate the large majority of the wells in the Fayetteville Shale; (4) much of the water management information relating to the Marcellus Shale also applies to the Fayetteville Shale, therefore, it can be referenced from Veil (2010) rather than being recreated here; and (5) the author has previously published a report on the Fayetteville Shale (Veil 2007) and has helped to develop an informational website on the Fayetteville Shale (Argonne and University of Arkansas 2008), both of these sources, which are relevant to the subject of this report, are cited as references.

  4. Shale Gas in Europe: pragmatic perspectives and actions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübner, A.; Horsfield, B.; Kapp, I.

    2012-10-01

    Natural gas will continue to play a key role in the EU's energy mix in the coming years, with unconventional gas' role increasing in importance as new resources are exploited worldwide. As far as Europe's own shale gas resources are concerned, it is especially the public's perception and level of acceptance that will make or break shale gas in the near-term. Both the pros and cons need to be discussed based on factual argument rather than speculation. Research organizations such as ours (GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences) have an active and defining role to play in remedying this deficiency. As far as science and technology developments are concerned, the project "Gas Shales in Europe" (GASH) and the shale gas activities of "GeoEnergie" (GeoEn) are the first major initiatives in Europe focused on shale gas. Basic and applied geoscientific research is conducted to understand the fundamental nature and interdependencies of the processes leading to shale gas formation. When it comes to knowledge transfer, the perceived and real risks associated with shale gas exploitation need immediate evaluation in Europe using scientific analysis. To proactively target these issues, the GFZ and partners are launching the European sustainable Operating Practices (E-SOP) Initiative for Unconventional Resources. The web-based Shale Gas Information Platform (SHIP) brings these issues into the public domain.

  5. Small-Angle and Ultrasmall-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS/USANS) Study of New Albany Shale: A Treatise on Microporosity

    SciTech Connect

    Bahadur, Jitendra; Radlinski, Andrzej P.; Melnichenko, Yuri B.; Mastalerz, Maria; Schimmelmann, Arndt

    2014-12-17

    We applied small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultrasmall-angle neutron scattering (USANS) techniques to study the microstructure of several New Albany shales of different maturity. It has been established that the total porosity decreases with maturity and increases somewhat for post-mature samples. A new method of SANS data analysis was developed, which allows the extraction of information about the size range and number density of micropores from the relatively flat scattering intensity observed in the limit of the large scattering vector Q. Macropores and significant number of mesopores are surface fractals, and their structure can be described in terms of the polydisperse spheres (PDSP) model. The model-independent Porod invariant method was employed to estimate total porosity, and the results were compared with the PDSP model results. It has been demonstrated that independent evaluation of incoherent background is crucial for accurate interpretation of the scattering data in the limit of large Q-values. Moreover, pore volumes estimated by the N2 and CO2 adsorption, as well as via the mercury intrusion technique, have been compared with those measured by SANS/USANS, and possible reasons for the observed discrepancies are discussed.

  6. Small-Angle and Ultrasmall-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS/USANS) Study of New Albany Shale: A Treatise on Microporosity

    DOE PAGES

    Bahadur, Jitendra; Radlinski, Andrzej P.; Melnichenko, Yuri B.; ...

    2014-12-17

    We applied small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultrasmall-angle neutron scattering (USANS) techniques to study the microstructure of several New Albany shales of different maturity. It has been established that the total porosity decreases with maturity and increases somewhat for post-mature samples. A new method of SANS data analysis was developed, which allows the extraction of information about the size range and number density of micropores from the relatively flat scattering intensity observed in the limit of the large scattering vector Q. Macropores and significant number of mesopores are surface fractals, and their structure can be described in terms of themore » polydisperse spheres (PDSP) model. The model-independent Porod invariant method was employed to estimate total porosity, and the results were compared with the PDSP model results. It has been demonstrated that independent evaluation of incoherent background is crucial for accurate interpretation of the scattering data in the limit of large Q-values. Moreover, pore volumes estimated by the N2 and CO2 adsorption, as well as via the mercury intrusion technique, have been compared with those measured by SANS/USANS, and possible reasons for the observed discrepancies are discussed.« less

  7. Gas hazard assessment in a densely inhabited area of Colli Albani Volcano (Cava dei Selci, Roma)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carapezza, M. L.; Badalamenti, B.; Cavarra, L.; Scalzo, A.

    2003-04-01

    The northwestern flank of the Colli Albani, a Quaternary volcanic complex near Rome, is characterised by high pCO 2 values and Rn activities in the groundwater and by the presence of zones with strong emission of gas from the soil. The most significant of these zones is Cava dei Selci where many houses are located very near to the gas emission site. The emitted gas consists mainly of CO 2 (up to 98 vol%) with an appreciable content of H 2S (0.8-2%). The He and C isotopic composition indicates, as for all fluids associated with the Quaternary Roman and Tuscany volcanic provinces, the presence of an upper mantle component contaminated by crustal fluids associated with subducted sediments and carbonates. An advective CO 2 flux of 37 tons/day has been estimated from the gas bubbles rising to the surface in a small drainage ditch and through a stagnant water pool, present in the rainy season in a topographically low central part of the area. A CO 2 soil flux survey with an accumulation chamber, carried out in February-March 2000 over a 12 000 m 2 surface with 242 measurement points, gave a total (mostly conductive) flux of 61 tons/day. CO 2 soil flux values vary by four orders of magnitude over a 160-m distance and by one order of magnitude over several metres. A fixed network of 114 points over 6350 m 2 has been installed in order to investigate temporal flux variations. Six surveys carried out from May 2000 to June 2001 have shown large variations of the total CO 2 soil flux (8-25 tons/day). The strong emission of CO 2 and H 2S, which are gases denser than air, produces dangerous accumulations in low areas which have caused a series of lethal accidents to animals and one to a man. The gas hazard near the houses has been assessed by continuously monitoring the CO 2 and H 2S concentration in the air at 75 cm from the ground by means of two automatic stations. Certain environmental parameters (wind direction and speed; atm P, T, humidity and rainfall) were also

  8. New method for prediction of shale gas content in continental shale formation using well logs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Sheng-Jie; Cui, Zhe; Jiang, Zhen-Xue; Shao, Yu; Liao, Wei; Li, Li

    2016-06-01

    Shale needs to contain a sufficient amount of gas to make it viable for exploitation. The continental heterogeneous shale formation in the Yan-chang (YC) area is investigated by firstly measuring the shale gas content in a laboratory and then investigating use of a theoretical prediction model. Key factors controlling the shale gas content are determined, and a prediction model for free gas content is established according to the equation of gas state and a new petrophysical volume model. Application of the Langmuir volume constant and pressure constant obtained from results of adsorption isotherms is found to be limited because these constants are greatly affected by experimental temperature and pressures. Therefore, using measurements of adsorption isotherms and thermodynamic theory, the influence of temperature, total organic carbon (TOC), and mineralogy on Langmuir volume constants and pressure constants are investigated in detail. A prediction model for the Langmuir pressure constant with a correction of temperatures is then established, and a prediction model for the Langmuir volume constant with correction of temperature, TOC, and quartz contents is also proposed. Using these corrected Langmuir constants, application of the Langmuir model determined using experimental adsorption isotherms is extrapolated to reservoir temperature, pressure, and lithological conditions, and a method for the prediction of shale gas content using well logs is established. Finally, this method is successfully applied to predict the shale gas content of the continental shale formation in the YC area, and practical application is shown to deliver good results with high precision.

  9. Assessment of potential shale gas and shale oil resources of the Norte Basin, Uruguay, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Kirschbaum, Mark A.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy; Klett, Timothy R.; Gautier, Donald L.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Weaver, Jean N.; Brownfield, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Using a performance-based geological assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean volumes of 13.4 trillion cubic feet of potential technically recoverable shale gas and 0.5 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources in the Norte Basin of Uruguay.

  10. Life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of shale gas, natural gas, coal, and petroleum.

    PubMed

    Burnham, Andrew; Han, Jeongwoo; Clark, Corrie E; Wang, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B; Palou-Rivera, Ignasi

    2012-01-17

    The technologies and practices that have enabled the recent boom in shale gas production have also brought attention to the environmental impacts of its use. It has been debated whether the fugitive methane emissions during natural gas production and transmission outweigh the lower carbon dioxide emissions during combustion when compared to coal and petroleum. Using the current state of knowledge of methane emissions from shale gas, conventional natural gas, coal, and petroleum, we estimated up-to-date life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we developed distribution functions for key parameters in each pathway to examine uncertainty and identify data gaps such as methane emissions from shale gas well completions and conventional natural gas liquid unloadings that need to be further addressed. Our base case results show that shale gas life-cycle emissions are 6% lower than conventional natural gas, 23% lower than gasoline, and 33% lower than coal. However, the range in values for shale and conventional gas overlap, so there is a statistical uncertainty whether shale gas emissions are indeed lower than conventional gas. Moreover, this life-cycle analysis, among other work in this area, provides insight on critical stages that the natural gas industry and government agencies can work together on to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas.

  11. Perform research in process development for hydroretorting of Eastern oil shales: Volume 2, Expansion of the Moving-Bed Hydroretorting Data Base for Eastern oil shales

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-11-01

    An extensive data base was developed for six Eastern oil shales: Alabama Chattanooga, Indiana New Albany, Kentucky Sunbury, Michigan Antrim, Ohio Cleveland, and Tennessee Chattanooga shales. The data base included the hydroretorting characteristics of the six shales, as well as the retorting characteristics in the presence of synthesis gas and ionized gas. Shale gasification was also successfully demonstrated. Shale fines (20%) can produce enough hydrogen for the hydroretorting of the remaining 80% of the shale. The amount of fines tolerable in a moving bed was also determined. 16 refs., 59 figs., 43 tabs.

  12. Water Resources and Natural Gas Production from the Marcellus Shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soeder, Daniel J.; Kappel, William M.

    2009-01-01

    The Marcellus Shale is a sedimentary rock formation deposited over 350 million years ago in a shallow inland sea located in the eastern United States where the present-day Appalachian Mountains now stand (de Witt and others, 1993). This shale contains significant quantities of natural gas. New developments in drilling technology, along with higher wellhead prices, have made the Marcellus Shale an important natural gas resource. The Marcellus Shale extends from southern New York across Pennsylvania, and into western Maryland, West Virginia, and eastern Ohio (fig. 1). The production of commercial quantities of gas from this shale requires large volumes of water to drill and hydraulically fracture the rock. This water must be recovered from the well and disposed of before the gas can flow. Concerns about the availability of water supplies needed for gas production, and questions about wastewater disposal have been raised by water-resource agencies and citizens throughout the Marcellus Shale gas development region. This Fact Sheet explains the basics of Marcellus Shale gas production, with the intent of helping the reader better understand the framework of the water-resource questions and concerns.

  13. Assessment of undiscovered shale gas and shale oil resources in the Mississippian Barnett Shale, Bend Arch–Fort Worth Basin Province, North-Central Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marra, Kristen R.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Lewan, Michael D.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Klett, Timothy R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Le, Phuong A.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Pitman, Janet K.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2015-12-17

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean volumes of 53 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, 172 million barrels of shale oil, and 176 million barrels of natural gas liquids in the Barnett Shale of the Bend Arch–Fort Worth Basin Province of Texas.

  14. Shale Gas in China: Prospects, Concerns, and Potential International Collaboration

    SciTech Connect

    Bazillian, Morgan; Pedersen, Ascha Lychett; Pless, Jacuelyn; Logan, Jeffrey; Medlock, Kenneth, III, O'Sullivan, Francis; Nakano, Jane

    2013-10-01

    Shale gas resource potential in China is assessed to be large, and its development could have wide-ranging economic, environmental, and energy security implications. Although commercial scale shale gas development has not yet begun in China, it holds the potential to change the global energy landscape. Chinese decision-makers are wrestling with the challenges associated with bringing the potential to reality: geologic complexity; infrastructure and logistical difficulties; technological, institutional, social and market development issues; and environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on water availability and quality, and air pollution. This paper briefly examines the current situation and outlook for shale gas in China, and explores existing and potential avenues for international cooperation. We find that despite some barriers to large-scale development, Chinese shale gas production has the potential to grow rapidly over the medium-term.

  15. Assessment of potential unconventional lacustrine shale-oil and shale-gas resources, Phitsanulok Basin, Thailand, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Pitman, Janet K.; Brownfield, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey assessed potential technically recoverable mean resources of 53 million barrels of shale oil and 320 billion cubic feet of shale gas in the Phitsanulok Basin, onshore Thailand.

  16. Methanogenic archaea in marcellus shale: a possible mechanism for enhanced gas recovery in unconventional shale resources.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Yael Tarlovsky; Kotcon, James; Mroz, Thomas

    2015-06-02

    Marcellus Shale occurs at depths of 1.5-2.5 km (5000 to 8000 feet) where most geologists generally assume that thermogenic processes are the only source of natural gas. However, methanogens in produced fluids and isotopic signatures of biogenic methane in this deep shale have recently been discovered. This study explores whether those methanogens are indigenous to the shale or are introduced during drilling and hydraulic fracturing. DNA was extracted from Marcellus Shale core samples, preinjected fluids, and produced fluids and was analyzed using Miseq sequencing of 16s rRNA genes. Methanogens present in shale cores were similar to methanogens in produced fluids. No methanogens were detected in injected fluids, suggesting that this is an unlikely source and that they may be native to the shale itself. Bench-top methane production tests of shale core and produced fluids suggest that these organisms are alive and active under simulated reservoir conditions. Growth conditions designed to simulate the hydrofracture processes indicated somewhat increased methane production; however, fluids alone produced relatively little methane. Together, these results suggest that some biogenic methane may be produced in these wells and that hydrofracture fluids currently used to stimulate gas recovery could stimulate methanogens and their rate of producing methane.

  17. Environmental Public Health Dimensions of Shale and Tight Gas Development

    PubMed Central

    Hays, Jake; Finkel, Madelon L.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The United States has experienced a boom in natural gas production due to recent technological innovations that have enabled this resource to be produced from shale formations. Objectives: We reviewed the body of evidence related to exposure pathways in order to evaluate the potential environmental public health impacts of shale gas development. We highlight what is currently known and identify data gaps and research limitations by addressing matters of toxicity, exposure pathways, air quality, and water quality. Discussion: There is evidence of potential environmental public health risks associated with shale gas development. Several studies suggest that shale gas development contributes to ambient air concentrations of pollutants known to be associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Similarly, an increasing body of studies suggest that water contamination risks exist through a variety of environmental pathways, most notably during wastewater transport and disposal, and via poor zonal isolation of gases and fluids due to structural integrity impairment of cement in gas wells. Conclusion: Despite a growing body of evidence, data gaps persist. Most important, there is a need for more epidemiological studies to assess associations between risk factors, such as air and water pollution, and health outcomes among populations living in close proximity to shale gas operations. Citation: Shonkoff SB, Hays J, Finkel ML. 2014. Environmental public health dimensions of shale and tight gas development. Environ Health Perspect 122:787–795; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307866 PMID:24736097

  18. Water Availability for Shale Gas Development in Sichuan Basin, China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mengjun; Weinthal, Erika; Patiño-Echeverri, Dalia; Deshusses, Marc A; Zou, Caineng; Ni, Yunyan; Vengosh, Avner

    2016-03-15

    Unconventional shale gas development holds promise for reducing the predominant consumption of coal and increasing the utilization of natural gas in China. While China possesses some of the most abundant technically recoverable shale gas resources in the world, water availability could still be a limiting factor for hydraulic fracturing operations, in addition to geological, infrastructural, and technological barriers. Here, we project the baseline water availability for the next 15 years in Sichuan Basin, one of the most promising shale gas basins in China. Our projection shows that continued water demand for the domestic sector in Sichuan Basin could result in high to extremely high water stress in certain areas. By simulating shale gas development and using information from current water use for hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin (20,000-30,000 m(3) per well), we project that during the next decade water use for shale gas development could reach 20-30 million m(3)/year, when shale gas well development is projected to be most active. While this volume is negligible relative to the projected overall domestic water use of ∼36 billion m(3)/year, we posit that intensification of hydraulic fracturing and water use might compete with other water utilization in local water-stress areas in Sichuan Basin.

  19. Western Greece unconventional hydrocarbon potential from oil shale and shale gas reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karakitsios, Vasileios; Agiadi, Konstantina

    2013-04-01

    It is clear that we are gradually running out of new sedimentary basins to explore for conventional oil and gas and that the reserves of conventional oil, which can be produced cheaply, are limited. This is the reason why several major oil companies invest in what are often called unconventional hydrocarbons: mainly oil shales, heavy oil, tar sand and shale gas. In western Greece exist important oil and gas shale reservoirs which must be added to its hydrocarbon potential1,2. Regarding oil shales, Western Greece presents significant underground immature, or close to the early maturation stage, source rocks with black shale composition. These source rock oils may be produced by applying an in-situ conversion process (ICP). A modern technology, yet unproven at a commercial scale, is the thermally conductive in-situ conversion technology, developed by Shell3. Since most of western Greece source rocks are black shales with high organic content, those, which are immature or close to the maturity limit have sufficient thickness and are located below 1500 meters depth, may be converted artificially by in situ pyrolysis. In western Greece, there are several extensive areas with these characteristics, which may be subject of exploitation in the future2. Shale gas reservoirs in Western Greece are quite possibly present in all areas where shales occur below the ground-water level, with significant extent and organic matter content greater than 1%, and during their geological history, were found under conditions corresponding to the gas window (generally at depths over 5,000 to 6,000m). Western Greece contains argillaceous source rocks, found within the gas window, from which shale gas may be produced and consequently these rocks represent exploitable shale gas reservoirs. Considering the inevitable increase in crude oil prices, it is expected that at some point soon Western Greece shales will most probably be targeted. Exploration for conventional petroleum reservoirs

  20. Water management technologies used by Marcellus Shale Gas Producers.

    SciTech Connect

    Veil, J. A.; Environmental Science Division

    2010-07-30

    Natural gas represents an important energy source for the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA), about 22% of the country's energy needs are provided by natural gas. Historically, natural gas was produced from conventional vertical wells drilled into porous hydrocarbon-containing formations. During the past decade, operators have increasingly looked to other unconventional sources of natural gas, such as coal bed methane, tight gas sands, and gas shales.

  1. Environmental baselines: preparing for shale gas in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, John; Manamsa, Katya; Bell, Rachel; Darling, George; Dochartaigh, Brighid O.; Stuart, Marianne; Ward, Rob

    2014-05-01

    Groundwater is a vital source of freshwater in the UK. It provides almost 30% of public water supply on average, but locally, for example in south-east England, it is constitutes nearly 90% of public supply. In addition to public supply, groundwater has a number of other uses including agriculture, industry, and food and drink production. It is also vital for maintaining river flows especially during dry periods and so is essential for maintaining ecosystem health. Recently, there have been concerns expressed about the potential impacts of shale gas development on groundwater. The UK has abundant shales and clays which are currently the focus of considerable interest and there is active research into their characterisation, resource evaluation and exploitation risks. The British Geological Survey (BGS) is undertaking research to provide information to address some of the environmental concerns related to the potential impacts of shale gas development on groundwater resources and quality. The aim of much of this initial work is to establish environmental baselines, such as a baseline survey of methane occurrence in groundwater (National methane baseline study) and the spatial relationships between potential sources and groundwater receptors (iHydrogeology project), prior to any shale gas exploration and development. The poster describes these two baseline studies and presents preliminary findings. BGS are currently undertaking a national survey of baseline methane concentrations in groundwater across the UK. This work will enable any potential future changes in methane in groundwater associated with shale gas development to be assessed. Measurements of methane in potable water from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic carbonate and sandstone aquifers are variable and reveal methane concentrations of up to 500 micrograms per litre, but the mean value is relatively low at < 10 micrograms per litre. These values compare with much higher levels of methane in aquicludes

  2. Eastern gas shales bibliography selected annotations: gas, oil, uranium, etc. Citations in bituminous shales worldwide

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, V.S.

    1980-06-01

    This bibliography contains 2702 citations, most of which are annotated. They are arranged by author in numerical order with a geographical index following the listing. The work is international in scope and covers the early geological literature, continuing through 1979 with a few 1980 citations in Addendum II. Addendum I contains a listing of the reports, well logs and symposiums of the Unconventional Gas Recovery Program (UGR) through August 1979. There is an author-subject index for these publications following the listing. The second part of Addendum I is a listing of the UGR maps which also has a subject-author index following the map listing. Addendum II includes several important new titles on the Devonian shale as well as a few older citations which were not found until after the bibliography had been numbered and essentially completed. A geographic index for these citations follows this listing.

  3. Evaluation of the eastern gas shales in Pennsylvania

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-01-01

    To evaluate the potential of the Devonian shale as a source of natural gas, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken the Eastern Gas Shales Project (EGSP). The EGSP is designed not only to identify the resource, but also to test improved methods of inducing permeability to facilitate gas drainage, collection, and production. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the production of gas from the eastern shales through advanced exploration and exploitation techniques. The purpose of this report is to inform the general public and interested oil and gas operators about EGSP results as they pertain to the Devonian gas shales of the Appalachian basin in Pennsylvania. Geologic data and interpretations are summarized and areas where the accumulation of gas may be large enough to justify commercial production are outlined. Because the data presented in this report are generalized and not suitable for evaluation of specific sites for exploration, the reader should consult the various reports cited for more detail and discussion of the data, concepts, and interpretations presented.

  4. Life cycle water consumption for shale gas and conventional natural gas.

    PubMed

    Clark, Corrie E; Horner, Robert M; Harto, Christopher B

    2013-10-15

    Shale gas production represents a large potential source of natural gas for the nation. The scale and rapid growth in shale gas development underscore the need to better understand its environmental implications, including water consumption. This study estimates the water consumed over the life cycle of conventional and shale gas production, accounting for the different stages of production and for flowback water reuse (in the case of shale gas). This study finds that shale gas consumes more water over its life cycle (13-37 L/GJ) than conventional natural gas consumes (9.3-9.6 L/GJ). However, when used as a transportation fuel, shale gas consumes significantly less water than other transportation fuels. When used for electricity generation, the combustion of shale gas adds incrementally to the overall water consumption compared to conventional natural gas. The impact of fuel production, however, is small relative to that of power plant operations. The type of power plant where the natural gas is utilized is far more important than the source of the natural gas.

  5. Shale gas characteristics of the Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale in Germany: from basin to nanometre scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, Hans-Martin; Bernard, Sylvain; Horsfield, Brian; Krüger, Martin; Littke, Ralf; di primio, Rolando

    2013-04-01

    The Early Toarcian Posidonia Shale is a proven hydrocarbon source rock which was deposited in a shallow epicontinental basin. In southern Germany, Tethyan warm-water influences from the south led to carbonate sedimentation, whereas cold-water influxes from the north controlled siliciclastic sedimentation in the northwestern parts of Germany and the Netherlands. Restricted sea-floor circulation and organic matter preservation are considered to be the consequence of an oceanic anoxic event. In contrast, non-marine conditions led to sedimentation of coarser grained sediments under progressively terrestrial conditions in northeastern Germany The present-day distribution of Posidonia Shale in northern Germany is restricted to the centres of rift basins that formed in the Late Jurassic (e.g., Lower Saxony Basin and Dogger Troughs like the West and East Holstein Troughs) as a result of erosion on the basin margins and bounding highs. The source rock characteristics are in part dependent on grain size as the Posidonia Shale in eastern Germany is referred to as a mixed to non-source rock facies. In the study area, the TOC content and the organic matter quality vary vertically and laterally, likely as a consequence of a rising sea level during the Toarcian. Here we present and compare data of whole Posidonia Shale sections, investigating these variations and highlighting the variability of Posidonia Shale depositional system. During all phases of burial, gas was generated in the Posidonia Shale. Low sedimentation rates led to diffusion of early diagenetically formed biogenic methane. Isochronously formed diagenetic carbonates tightened the matrix and increased brittleness. Thermogenic gas generation occurred in wide areas of Lower Saxony as well as in Schleswig Holstein. Biogenic methane gas can still be formed today in Posidonia Shale at shallow depth in areas which were covered by Pleistocene glaciers. Submicrometric interparticle pores predominate in immature samples. At

  6. Ozone impacts of natural gas development in the Haynesville Shale.

    PubMed

    Kemball-Cook, Susan; Bar-Ilan, Amnon; Grant, John; Parker, Lynsey; Jung, Jaegun; Santamaria, Wilson; Mathews, Jim; Yarwood, Greg

    2010-12-15

    The Haynesville Shale is a subsurface rock formation located beneath the Northeast Texas/Northwest Louisiana border near Shreveport. This formation is estimated to contain very large recoverable reserves of natural gas, and during the two years since the drilling of the first highly productive wells in 2008, has been the focus of intensive leasing and exploration activity. The development of natural gas resources within the Haynesville Shale is likely to be economically important but may also generate significant emissions of ozone precursors. Using well production data from state regulatory agencies and a review of the available literature, projections of future year Haynesville Shale natural gas production were derived for 2009-2020 for three scenarios corresponding to limited, moderate, and aggressive development. These production estimates were then used to develop an emission inventory for each of the three scenarios. Photochemical modeling of the year 2012 showed increases in 2012 8-h ozone design values of up to 5 ppb within Northeast Texas and Northwest Louisiana resulting from development in the Haynesville Shale. Ozone increases due to Haynesville Shale emissions can affect regions outside Northeast Texas and Northwest Louisiana due to ozone transport. This study evaluates only near-term ozone impacts, but the emission inventory projections indicate that Haynesville emissions may be expected to increase through 2020.

  7. Unconventional shale-gas systems: The Mississippian Barnett Shale of north-central Texas as one model for thermogenic shale-gas assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarvie, D.M.; Hill, R.J.; Ruble, T.E.; Pollastro, R.M.

    2007-01-01

    Shale-gas resource plays can be distinguished by gas type and system characteristics. The Newark East gas field, located in the Fort Worth Basin, Texas, is defined by thermogenic gas production from low-porosity and low-permeability Barnett Shale. The Barnett Shale gas system, a self-contained source-reservoir system, has generated large amounts of gas in the key productive areas because of various characteristics and processes, including (1) excellent original organic richness and generation potential; (2) primary and secondary cracking of kerogen and retained oil, respectively; (3) retention of oil for cracking to gas by adsorption; (4) porosity resulting from organic matter decomposition; and (5) brittle mineralogical composition. The calculated total gas in place (GIP) based on estimated ultimate recovery that is based on production profiles and operator estimates is about 204 bcf/section (5.78 ?? 109 m3/1.73 ?? 104 m3). We estimate that the Barnett Shale has a total generation potential of about 609 bbl of oil equivalent/ac-ft or the equivalent of 3657 mcf/ac-ft (84.0 m3/m3). Assuming a thickness of 350 ft (107 m) and only sufficient hydrogen for partial cracking of retained oil to gas, a total generation potential of 820 bcf/section is estimated. Of this potential, approximately 60% was expelled, and the balance was retained for secondary cracking of oil to gas, if sufficient thermal maturity was reached. Gas storage capacity of the Barnett Shale at typical reservoir pressure, volume, and temperature conditions and 6% porosity shows a maximum storage capacity of 540 mcf/ac-ft or 159 scf/ton. Copyright ?? 2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  8. World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States

    EIA Publications

    2011-01-01

    The Energy Information Administration sponsored Advanced Resources International, Inc., to assess 48 gas shale basins in 32 countries, containing almost 70 shale gas formations. This effort has culminated in the report: World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States.

  9. Petrology of the Devonian gas-bearing shale along Lake Erie helps explain gas shows

    SciTech Connect

    Broadhead, R.F.; Potter, P.E.

    1980-11-01

    Comprehensive petrologic study of 136 thin sections of the Ohio Shale along Lake Erie, when combined with detailed stratigraphic study, helps explain the occurrence of its gas shows, most of which occur in the silty, greenish-gray, organic poor Chagrin Shale and Three Lick Bed. Both have thicker siltstone laminae and more siltstone beds than other members of the Ohio Shale and both units also contain more clayshales. The source of the gas in the Chagrin Shale and Three Lick Bed of the Ohio Shale is believed to be the bituminous-rich shales of the middle and lower parts of the underlying Huron Member of the Ohio Shale. Eleven petrographic types were recognized and extended descriptions are provided of the major ones - claystones, clayshales, mudshales, and bituminous shales plus laminated and unlaminated siltstones and very minor marlstones and sandstones. In addition three major types of lamination were identified and studied. Thirty-two shale samples were analyzed for organic carbon, whole rock hydrogen and whole rock nitrogen with a Perkin-Elmer 240 Elemental Analyzer and provided the data base for source rock evaluation of the Ohio Shale.

  10. Risks and risk governance in unconventional shale gas development.

    PubMed

    Small, Mitchell J; Stern, Paul C; Bomberg, Elizabeth; Christopherson, Susan M; Goldstein, Bernard D; Israel, Andrei L; Jackson, Robert B; Krupnick, Alan; Mauter, Meagan S; Nash, Jennifer; North, D Warner; Olmstead, Sheila M; Prakash, Aseem; Rabe, Barry; Richardson, Nathan; Tierney, Susan; Webler, Thomas; Wong-Parodi, Gabrielle; Zielinska, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    A broad assessment is provided of the current state of knowledge regarding the risks associated with shale gas development and their governance. For the principal domains of risk, we identify observed and potential hazards and promising mitigation options to address them, characterizing current knowledge and research needs. Important unresolved research questions are identified for each area of risk; however, certain domains exhibit especially acute deficits of knowledge and attention, including integrated studies of public health, ecosystems, air quality, socioeconomic impacts on communities, and climate change. For these, current research and analysis are insufficient to either confirm or preclude important impacts. The rapidly evolving landscape of shale gas governance in the U.S. is also assessed, noting challenges and opportunities associated with the current decentralized (state-focused) system of regulation. We briefly review emerging approaches to shale gas governance in other nations, and consider new governance initiatives and options in the U.S. involving voluntary industry certification, comprehensive development plans, financial instruments, and possible future federal roles. In order to encompass the multiple relevant disciplines, address the complexities of the evolving shale gas system and reduce the many key uncertainties needed for improved management, a coordinated multiagency federal research effort will need to be implemented.

  11. EIA responds to Nature article on shale gas projections

    EIA Publications

    2014-01-01

    EIA has responded to a December 4, 2014 Nature article on projections of shale gas production made by EIA and by the Bureau of Economic Geology of the University of Texas at Austin (BEG/UT) with a letter to the editors of Nature. BEG/UT has also responded to the article in their own letter to the editor.

  12. New Isotopic Tracers for Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The combined application of geochemistry, stable isotopes (δ18O, δ2H), strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr), boron isotopes (δ11B), and radium isotopes (228Ra/226Ra) provides a unique methodology for tracing and monitoring shale gas and fracking fluids in the environment.

  13. The Lower Jurassic Posidonia Shale in southern Germany: results of a shale gas analogue study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biermann, Steffen; Schulz, Hans-Martin; Horsfield, Brian

    2013-04-01

    The shale gas potential of Germany was recently assessed by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (2012 NiKo-Project) and is - in respect of the general natural gas occurrence in Germany - regarded as a good alternative hydrocarbon source. The Posidonia Shale in northern and southern Germany is one of the evaluated rock formation and easily accessible in outcrops in the Swabian Alps (southern Germany). The area of interest in this work is located in such an outcrop that is actively used for open pit mining next to the town of Dotternhausen, 70 km southwest of Stuttgart. 31 samples from the quarry of Dotternhausen were analyzed in order to characterize the immature Posidonia Shale (Lower Toarcian, Lias ɛ) of southern Germany as a gas shale precursor. Methods included are Rock Eval, Open Pyrolysis GC, SEM, Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry, XRD, and other. The samples of Dotternhausen contain exclusively type II kerogen. The majority of the organic matter is structureless and occurs in the argillaceous-calcareous matrix. Structured organic matter appears predominantly as alginite, in particular the algae "tasmanite" is noticeable. The TOC content ranges up to 16 wt% with a high bitumen content. The mineral content characterizes the Posidonia Shale as a marlstone or mudstone with varying clay-calcite ratios. The quartz and pyrite content reaches up to 20 wt% and 9 wt%, respectively. The rock fabric is characterized by a fine grained and laminated matrix. The mean porosity lies between 4 and 12 %. Fractures other than those introduced by sample preparation were not observed. The Posidonia Shale is predicted to have an excellent source rock potential and will generate intermediate, P-N-A low wax oil when exposed to higher P-T-conditions ("oil kitchen"). Contact surfaces between the kerogen and matrix will be vulnerable to pressure induced fracturing caused by hydrocarbon formation. Additional porosity will be formed during maturation due to the

  14. Assessing Radium Activity in Shale Gas Produced Brine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, W.; Hayes, K. F.; Ellis, B. R.

    2015-12-01

    The high volumes and salinity associated with shale gas produced water can make finding suitable storage or disposal options a challenge, especially when deep well brine disposal or recycling for additional well completions is not an option. In such cases, recovery of commodity salts from the high total dissolved solids (TDS) of the brine wastewater may be desirable, yet the elevated concentrations of the naturally occurring radionuclides such as Ra-226 and Ra-228 in produced waters (sometimes substantially greater than the EPA limit of 5 pCi/L) may concentrate during these steps and limit salt recovery options. Therefore, assessing the potential presence of these Ra radionuclides in produced water from shale gas reservoir properties is desirable. In this study, we seek to link U and Th content within a given shale reservoir to the expected Ra content of produced brine by accounting for secular equilibrium within the rock and subsequent release to Ra to native brines. Produced brine from a series of Antrim shale wells and flowback from a single Utica-Collingwood shale well in Michigan were sampled and analyzed via ICP-MS to measure Ra content. Gamma spectroscopy was used to verify the robustness of this new Ra analytical method. Ra concentrations were observed to be up to an order of magnitude higher in the Antrim flowback water samples compared to those collected from the Utica-Collingwood well. The higher Ra content in Antrim produced brines correlates well with higher U content in the Antrim (19 ppm) relative to the Utica-Collingwood (3.5 ppm). We also observed an increase in Ra activity with increasing TDS in the Antrim samples. This Ra-TDS relationship demonstrates the influence of competing divalent cations in controlling Ra mobility in these clay-rich reservoirs. In addition, we will present a survey of geochemical data from other shale gas plays in the U.S. correlating shale U, Th content with produced brine Ra content. A goal of this study is to develop a

  15. Synthesis of organic geochemical data from the Eastern Gas Shales

    SciTech Connect

    Zielinski, R. E.; McIver, R. D.

    1982-01-01

    Over 2400 core and cuttings samples of Upper Devonian shales from wells in the Appalachian, Illinois, and Michigan Basins have been characterized by organic geochemical methods to provide a basis for accelerating the exploitation of this unconventional, gas-rich resource. This work was part of a program initiated to provide industry with criteria for locating the best areas for future drilling and for the development of stimulation methods that will make recovery of the resource economically attractive. The geochemical assessment shows that the shale, in much of the Appalachian, Illinois, and Michigan Basins is source rock that is capable of generating enormous quantities of gas. In some areas the shales are also capable of generating large quantities of oil as well. The limiting factors preventing these sources from realizing most of their potential are their very low permeabilities and the paucity of potential reservoir rocks. This geochemical data synthesis gives direction to future selection of sites for stimulation research projects in the Appalachian Basin by pinpointing those areas where the greatest volumes of gas are contained in the shale matrix. Another accomplishment of the geochemical data synthesis is a new estimate of the total resource of the Appalachian Basin. The new estimate of 2500 TCF is 25 percent greater than the highest previous estimates. This gives greater incentive to government and industry to continue the search for improved stimulation methods, as well as for improved methods for locating the sites where those improved stimulation methods can be most effectively applied.

  16. Application of Ester based Drilling Fluid for Shale Gas Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauki, Arina; Safwan Zazarli Shah, Mohamad; Bakar, Wan Zairani Wan

    2015-05-01

    Water based mud is the most commonly used mud in drilling operation. However, it is ineffective when dealing with water-sensitive shale that can lead to shale hydration, consequently wellbore instability is compromised. The alternative way to deal with this kind of shale is using synthetic-based mud (SBM) or oil-based mud (OBM). OBM is the best option in terms of technical requirement. Nevertheless, it is toxic and will create environmental problems when it is discharged to onshore or offshore environment. SBM is safer than the OBM. The aim of this research is to formulate a drilling mud system that can carry out its essential functions for shale gas drilling to avoid borehole instability. Ester based SBM has been chosen for the mud formulation. The ester used is methyl-ester C12-C14 derived from palm oil. The best formulation of ester-based drilling fluid was selected by manipulating the oil-water ratio content in the mud which are 70/30, 80/20 and 90/10 respectively. The feasibility of using this mud for shale gas drilling was investigated by measuring the rheological properties, shale reactivity and toxicity of the mud and the results were compared with a few types of OBM and WBM. The best rheological performance can be seen at 80/20 oil-water ratio of ester based mud. The findings revealed that the rheological performance of ester based mud is comparable with the excellent performance of sarapar based OBM and about 80% better than the WBM in terms of fluid loss. Apart from that, it is less toxic than other types of OBM which can maintain 60% prawn's survival even after 96 hours exposure in 100,000 ppm of mud concentration in artificial seawater.

  17. Ground-water quality of the Upper Floridan Aquifer near an abandoned manufactured gas plant in Albany, Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapman, M.J.

    1993-01-01

    Manufactured gas plants produced gas for heating and lighting in the United States from as early as 1816 into the 1960's. By-products including, but not limited to, oil residues and tar, were generated during the gas-manufacturing process. Organic compounds (hydrocarbons) were detected in water in the upper water-bearing zone of the Upper Floridan aquifer near an abandoned manufactured gas plant (MGP) in Albany, Georgia, during an earlier investigation in 1990. Chemical analyses of ground-water samples collected from five existing monitoring wells in 1991 verify the presence of hydrocarbons and metals in the upper water-beating zone of the Upper Floridan aquifer. One well was drilled into the lower water-beating zone of the Upper Floridan aquifer in 1991 for water-quality sampling and water-level monitoring. Analyses of ground water sampled from this well did not show evidence of benzene, toluene, xylene, napthalene, acenaphthlene, or other related compounds detected in the upper water-bearing zone in the study area. Low concentrations of tetrachloroethane, trichloromethane, and l,2-cisdichloroethene were detected in a water sample from the deeper well; however, these compounds were not detected in the upper water-bearing zone in the study area. Inorganic constituent concentrations also were substantially lower in the deeper well. Overall, ground water sampled from the lower water-bearing zone had lower specific conductance and alkalinity; and lower concentrations of dissolved solids, iron, and manganese compared to ground water sampled from the upper water-bearing zone. Water levels for the upper and lower water-bearing zones were similar throughout the study period.

  18. Testing marine shales' ability to generate catalytic gas at low temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, L.; Schimmelmann, A.; Drobniak, A.; Sauer, P. E.; Mastalerz, M.

    2013-12-01

    Hydrocarbon gases are generally thought to originatevia low-temperature microbial or high-temperature thermogenicpathways (Whiticar, 1996) that can be distinguished by compound-specific hydrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios. An alternative low-temperature catalytic pathway for hydrocarbon generation from sedimentary organic matter has been proposed to be active at temperatures as low as 50oC (e.g.,Mango and Jarvie,2009,2010; Mango et al., 2010; Bartholomew et al., 1999). This hypothesis, however, still requires rigoroustesting by independent laboratory experiments.The possibility of catalytic generation of hydrocarbons in some source rocks (most likely in relatively impermeable and organic-rich shales where reduced catalytic centers can be best preserved) would offer an explanation for the finding of gas of non-microbial origin in formations that lack the thermal maturity for generating thermogenic gas.It is unknown whether catalytically generated methane would be isotopically different from thermogenicmethane (δ13CCH4>-50‰, δ2HCH4from -275‰ to -100‰) ormicrobially generated methane (δ13CCH4from -40‰ to -110‰, δ2HCH4from -400‰to -150‰) (Whiticar, 1998). In order to test for catalytic gas generationin water-wet shales and coals, we are conductinglaboratory experiments at three temperatures (60°C, 100°C, 200°C)and three pressures (ambient pressure, 107 Pa, 3x107 Pa)over periods of six months to several years. So far, our longest running experiments have reached one year. We sealed different types of thermally immature, pre-evacuatedshales (Mowry, New Albany, and Mahoganyshales) and coals (SpringfieldCoal and Wilcoxlignite)with isotopically defined waters in gold cells in the absence of elemental oxygen.Preliminary results show that these samples, depending on conditions, can generate light hydrocarbon gases (methane, ethane and propane) and CO2. Methane, CO2, and traces of H2havebeen generated at 60°C, whereas experiments at 100°C and 200

  19. Effect of thermal maturation on the K-Ar, Rb-Sr and REE systematics of an organic-rich New Albany Shale as determined by hydrous pyrolysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clauer, Norbert; Chaudhuri, Sambhudas; Lewan, M.D.; Toulkeridis, T.

    2006-01-01

    Hydrous-pyrolysis experiments were conducted on an organic-rich Devonian-Mississippian shale, which was also leached by dilute HCl before and after pyrolysis, to identify and quantify the induced chemical and isotopic changes in the rock. The experiments significantly affect the organic-mineral organization, which plays an important role in natural interactions during diagenetic hydrocarbon maturation in source rocks. They produce 10.5% of volatiles and the amount of HCl leachables almost doubles from about 6% to 11%. The Rb-Sr and K-Ar data are significantly modified, but not just by removal of radiogenic 40Ar and 87Sr, as described in many studies of natural samples at similar thermal and hydrous conditions. The determining reactions relate to alteration of the organic matter marked by a significant change in the heavy REEs in the HCl leachate after pyrolysis, underlining the potential effects of acidic fluids in natural environments. Pyrolysis induces also release from organics of some Sr with a very low 87Sr/86Sr ratio, as well as part of U. Both seem to have been volatilised during the experiment, whereas other metals such as Pb, Th and part of U appear to have been transferred from soluble phases into stable (silicate?) components. Increase of the K2O and radiogenic 40Ar contents of the silicate minerals after pyrolysis is explained by removal of other elements that could only be volatilised, as the system remains strictly closed during the experiment. The observed increase in radiogenic 40Ar implies that it was not preferentially released as a volatile gas phase when escaping the altered mineral phases. It had to be re-incorporated into newly-formed soluble phases, which is opposite to the general knowledge about the behavior of Ar in supergene natural environments. Because of the strictly closed-system conditions, hydrous-pyrolysis experiments allow to better identify and even quantify the geochemical aspects of organic-inorganic interactions, such as

  20. Implications of shale gas development for climate change.

    PubMed

    Newell, Richard G; Raimi, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Advances in technologies for extracting oil and gas from shale formations have dramatically increased U.S. production of natural gas. As production expands domestically and abroad, natural gas prices will be lower than without shale gas. Lower prices have two main effects: increasing overall energy consumption, and encouraging substitution away from sources such as coal, nuclear, renewables, and electricity. We examine the evidence and analyze modeling projections to understand how these two dynamics affect greenhouse gas emissions. Most evidence indicates that natural gas as a substitute for coal in electricity production, gasoline in transport, and electricity in buildings decreases greenhouse gases, although as an electricity substitute this depends on the electricity mix displaced. Modeling suggests that absent substantial policy changes, increased natural gas production slightly increases overall energy use, more substantially encourages fuel-switching, and that the combined effect slightly alters economy wide GHG emissions; whether the net effect is a slight decrease or increase depends on modeling assumptions including upstream methane emissions. Our main conclusions are that natural gas can help reduce GHG emissions, but in the absence of targeted climate policy measures, it will not substantially change the course of global GHG concentrations. Abundant natural gas can, however, help reduce the costs of achieving GHG reduction goals.

  1. Low-temperature gas from marine shales: wet gas to dry gas over experimental time

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Marine shales exhibit unusual behavior at low temperatures under anoxic gas flow. They generate catalytic gas 300° below thermal cracking temperatures, discontinuously in aperiodic episodes, and lose these properties on exposure to trace amounts of oxygen. Here we report a surprising reversal in hydrocarbon generation. Heavy hydrocarbons are formed before light hydrocarbons resulting in wet gas at the onset of generation grading to dryer gas over time. The effect is moderate under gas flow and substantial in closed reactions. In sequential closed reactions at 100°C, gas from a Cretaceous Mowry shale progresses from predominately heavy hydrocarbons (66% C5, 2% C1) to predominantly light hydrocarbons (56% C1, 8% C5), the opposite of that expected from desorption of preexisting hydrocarbons. Differences in catalyst substrate composition explain these dynamics. Gas flow should carry heavier hydrocarbons to catalytic sites, in contrast to static conditions where catalytic sites are limited to in-place hydrocarbons. In-place hydrocarbons and their products should become lighter with conversion thus generating lighter hydrocarbon over time, consistent with our experimental results. We recognize the similarities between low-temperature gas generation reported here and the natural progression of wet gas to dry gas over geologic time. There is now substantial evidence for natural catalytic activity in source rocks. Natural gas at thermodynamic equilibrium and the results reported here add to that evidence. Natural catalysis provides a plausible and unique explanation for the origin and evolution of gas in sedimentary basins. PMID:19900271

  2. Low-temperature gas from marine shales: wet gas to dry gas over experimental time.

    PubMed

    Mango, Frank D; Jarvie, Daniel M

    2009-11-09

    Marine shales exhibit unusual behavior at low temperatures under anoxic gas flow. They generate catalytic gas 300 degrees below thermal cracking temperatures, discontinuously in aperiodic episodes, and lose these properties on exposure to trace amounts of oxygen. Here we report a surprising reversal in hydrocarbon generation. Heavy hydrocarbons are formed before light hydrocarbons resulting in wet gas at the onset of generation grading to dryer gas over time. The effect is moderate under gas flow and substantial in closed reactions. In sequential closed reactions at 100 degrees C, gas from a Cretaceous Mowry shale progresses from predominately heavy hydrocarbons (66% C5, 2% C1) to predominantly light hydrocarbons (56% C1, 8% C5), the opposite of that expected from desorption of preexisting hydrocarbons. Differences in catalyst substrate composition explain these dynamics. Gas flow should carry heavier hydrocarbons to catalytic sites, in contrast to static conditions where catalytic sites are limited to in-place hydrocarbons. In-place hydrocarbons and their products should become lighter with conversion thus generating lighter hydrocarbon over time, consistent with our experimental results. We recognize the similarities between low-temperature gas generation reported here and the natural progression of wet gas to dry gas over geologic time. There is now substantial evidence for natural catalytic activity in source rocks. Natural gas at thermodynamic equilibrium and the results reported here add to that evidence. Natural catalysis provides a plausible and unique explanation for the origin and evolution of gas in sedimentary basins.

  3. Atmospheric emission characterization of Marcellus shale natural gas development sites.

    PubMed

    Goetz, J Douglas; Floerchinger, Cody; Fortner, Edward C; Wormhoudt, Joda; Massoli, Paola; Knighton, W Berk; Herndon, Scott C; Kolb, Charles E; Knipping, Eladio; Shaw, Stephanie L; DeCarlo, Peter F

    2015-06-02

    Limited direct measurements of criteria pollutants emissions and precursors, as well as natural gas constituents, from Marcellus shale gas development activities contribute to uncertainty about their atmospheric impact. Real-time measurements were made with the Aerodyne Research Inc. Mobile Laboratory to characterize emission rates of atmospheric pollutants. Sites investigated include production well pads, a well pad with a drill rig, a well completion, and compressor stations. Tracer release ratio methods were used to estimate emission rates. A first-order correction factor was developed to account for errors introduced by fenceline tracer release. In contrast to observations from other shale plays, elevated volatile organic compounds, other than CH4 and C2H6, were generally not observed at the investigated sites. Elevated submicrometer particle mass concentrations were also generally not observed. Emission rates from compressor stations ranged from 0.006 to 0.162 tons per day (tpd) for NOx, 0.029 to 0.426 tpd for CO, and 67.9 to 371 tpd for CO2. CH4 and C2H6 emission rates from compressor stations ranged from 0.411 to 4.936 tpd and 0.023 to 0.062 tpd, respectively. Although limited in sample size, this study provides emission rate estimates for some processes in a newly developed natural gas resource and contributes valuable comparisons to other shale gas studies.

  4. The role of ethics in shale gas policies.

    PubMed

    de Melo-Martín, Inmaculada; Hays, Jake; Finkel, Madelon L

    2014-02-01

    The United States has experienced a boom in natural gas production due to recent technological innovations that have enabled natural gas to be produced from unconventional sources, such as shale. There has been much discussion about the costs and benefits of developing shale gas among scientists, policy makers, and the general public. The debate has typically revolved around potential gains in economics, employment, energy independence, and national security as well as potential harms to the environment, the climate, and public health. In the face of scientific uncertainty, national and international governments must make decisions on how to proceed. So far, the results have been varied, with some governments banning the process, others enacting moratoria until it is better understood, and others explicitly sanctioning shale gas development. These policies reflect legislature's preferences to avoid false negative errors or false positive ones. Here we argue that policy makers have a prima facie duty to minimize false negatives based on three considerations: (1) protection from serious harm generally takes precedence over the enhancement of welfare; (2) minimizing false negatives in this case is more respectful to people's autonomy; and (3) alternative solutions exist that may provide many of the same benefits while minimizing many of the harms.

  5. Trip report for field visit to Fayetteville Shale gas wells.

    SciTech Connect

    Veil, J. A.; Environmental Science Division

    2007-09-30

    This report describes a visit to several gas well sites in the Fayetteville Shale on August 9, 2007. I met with George Sheffer, Desoto Field Manager for SEECO, Inc. (a large gas producer in Arkansas). We talked in his Conway, Arkansas, office for an hour and a half about the processes and technologies that SEECO uses. We then drove into the field to some of SEECO's properties to see first-hand what the well sites looked like. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) made several funding awards under a program called Low Impact Natural Gas and Oil (LINGO). One of the projects that received an award is 'Probabilistic Risk-Based Decision Support for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Facilities in Sensitive Ecosystems'. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has the lead on the project, and Argonne National Laboratory is a partner. The goal of the project is to develop a Web-based decision support tool that will be used by mid- and small-sized oil and gas companies as well as environmental regulators and other stakeholders to proactively minimize adverse ecosystem impacts associated with the recovery of gas reserves in sensitive areas. The project focuses on a large new natural gas field called the Fayetteville Shale. Part of the project involves learning how the natural gas operators do business in the area and the technologies they employ. The field trip on August 9 provided an opportunity to do that.

  6. Harmonization of initial estimates of shale gas life cycle greenhouse gas emissions for electric power generation.

    PubMed

    Heath, Garvin A; O'Donoughue, Patrick; Arent, Douglas J; Bazilian, Morgan

    2014-08-05

    Recent technological advances in the recovery of unconventional natural gas, particularly shale gas, have served to dramatically increase domestic production and reserve estimates for the United States and internationally. This trend has led to lowered prices and increased scrutiny on production practices. Questions have been raised as to how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the life cycle of shale gas production and use compares with that of conventionally produced natural gas or other fuel sources such as coal. Recent literature has come to different conclusions on this point, largely due to differing assumptions, comparison baselines, and system boundaries. Through a meta-analytical procedure we call harmonization, we develop robust, analytically consistent, and updated comparisons of estimates of life cycle GHG emissions for electricity produced from shale gas, conventionally produced natural gas, and coal. On a per-unit electrical output basis, harmonization reveals that median estimates of GHG emissions from shale gas-generated electricity are similar to those for conventional natural gas, with both approximately half that of the central tendency of coal. Sensitivity analysis on the harmonized estimates indicates that assumptions regarding liquids unloading and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of wells have the greatest influence on life cycle GHG emissions, whereby shale gas life cycle GHG emissions could approach the range of best-performing coal-fired generation under certain scenarios. Despite clarification of published estimates through harmonization, these initial assessments should be confirmed through methane emissions measurements at components and in the atmosphere and through better characterization of EUR and practices.

  7. Mechanistic Processes Controlling Gas Sorption in Shale Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaef, T.; Loring, J.; Ilton, E. S.; Davidson, C. L.; Owen, T.; Hoyt, D.; Glezakou, V. A.; McGrail, B. P.; Thompson, C.

    2014-12-01

    Utilization of CO2 to stimulate natural gas production in previously fractured shale-dominated reservoirs where CO2 remains in place for long-term storage may be an attractive new strategy for reducing the cost of managing anthropogenic CO2. A preliminary analysis of capacities and potential revenues in US shale plays suggests nearly 390 tcf in additional gas recovery may be possible via CO2 driven enhanced gas recovery. However, reservoir transmissivity properties, optimum gas recovery rates, and ultimate fate of CO2 vary among reservoirs, potentially increasing operational costs and environmental risks. In this paper, we identify key mechanisms controlling the sorption of CH4 and CO2 onto phyllosilicates and processes occurring in mixed gas systems that have the potential of impacting fluid transfer and CO2 storage in shale dominated formations. Through a unique set of in situ experimental techniques coupled with molecular-level simulations, we identify structural transformations occurring to clay minerals, optimal CO2/CH4 gas exchange conditions, and distinguish between adsorbed and intercalated gases in a mixed gas system. For example, based on in situ measurements with magic angle spinning NMR, intercalation of CO2 within the montmorillonite structure occurs in CH4/CO2 gas mixtures containing low concentrations (<5 mol%) of CO2. A stable montmorillonite structure dominates during exposure to pure CH4 (90 bar), but expands upon titration of small fractions (1-3 mol%) of CO2. Density functional theory was used to quantify the difference in sorption behavior between CO2 and CH4 and indicates complex interactions occurring between hydrated cations, CH4, and CO2. The authors will discuss potential impacts of these experimental results on CO2-based hydrocarbon recovery processes.

  8. Attachment B: URS Shale Gas Emissions Analysis

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This data was provided in response to a request by ANGA for actual current data that could be compared to EPA's assumptions used in the newly proposed Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards, Subpart quad 0

  9. U.S. Geological Survey Georgia Water Science Center and Albany Water, Gas, and Light Commission Cooperative Water Program-Summary of Activities, July 2005 through June 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, Debbie W.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working with the Albany Water, Gas, and Light Commission to monitor ground-water quality and availability since 1977. This report presents the findings for July 2005 through June 2006 and summarizes the ground-water and surface-water conditions for 2005. Water levels in 14 wells were continuously monitored in Dougherty County, Georgia. Water levels in 12 of those wells were above normal, one was normal, and one was below normal. Ground-water samples collected from the Upper Floridan aquifer indicate that nitrate levels have increased in 13 wells and decreased in two wells from a year earlier. A sample also was collected from the Flint River. A trilinear diagram showing the percent composition of selected major cations and anions indicates that the ground-water quality of the Upper Floridan aquifer at the Albany wellfield is distinctly different from the water quality of the Flint River. To improve the understanding of the ground-water flow system and nitrate movement in the Upper Floridan aquifer, the USGS is developing a ground-water flow model in the southwest Albany area, Georgia.

  10. Shale Gas characteristics of Permian black shales (Ecca group, Eastern Cape, South Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geel, Claire; Booth, Peter; Schulz, Hans-Martin; Horsfield, Brian; de Wit, Maarten

    2013-04-01

    This study involves a comprehensive and detailed lithological, sedimentalogical, structural and geochemical description of the lower Ecca Group in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Ecca group hosts a ~ 245 million year old organic-rich black shale, which has recently been the focus of interest of petroleum companies worldwide. The shale was deposited under anoxic conditions in a setting which formed as a consequence of retro-arc foreland basin development related to the Cape Fold Belt. This sedimentary/tectonic environment provided the conditions for deeply buried black shales to reach maturity levels for development in the gas window. The investigation site is called the Greystone Area and is situated north of Wolwefontein en route to Jansenville. The area has outcrops of the Dwyka, the Ecca and the lower Beaufort Groups. The outcrops were mapped extensively and the data was used in conjunction with GIS software to produce a detailed geological map. North-south cross sections were drawn to give indication of bed thicknesses and formation depths. Using the field work, data two boreholes were accurately sited on the northern limb of a shallow easterly plunging syncline. The first borehole reached 100m and the second was drilled to 292m depth (100m percussion and 192m core). The second borehole was drilled 200m south of the first, to penetrate the formations at a greater depth and to avoid surface weathering. Fresh core from the upper Dwyka Group, the Prince Albert Formation, the Whitehill Formation, Collingham Formation and part of the Ripon Formation were successfully extracted and a detailed stratigraphic log has been drawn up. The core was sampled during extraction and the samples were immediately sent to the GFZ in Potsdam, Germany, for geochemical analyses. As suspected the black shales of the the Whitehill Formation are high in organic carbon and have an average TOC value of 4.5%, whereas the Prince Albert and Collingham Formation are below 1%. Tmax values

  11. U.S. shale gas trends - economic and global implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, T.

    2016-09-01

    Natural gas from shale has moved the U.S., and North America more broadly, to become one of the largest producers of the commodity worldwide. Large technological gains have allowed reservoirs of unconventional hydrocarbons to become commercially viable to extract and market. The addition of this growing supply into the global marketplace, has upended longstanding trading patterns, and created new economic outcomes worth noting. This paper will discuss the recent trends of shale energy development in the U.S., the impact it is having on domestic and international markets, and the implications as the world shifts to a new low carbon energy paradigm. It will cover changes in workforce, midstream build out, power generation trends, petrochemicals, and emerging LNG export capacities.

  12. The capacity of states to govern shale gas development risks.

    PubMed

    Wiseman, Hannah J

    2014-01-01

    The development of natural gas and oil from unconventional formations in the United States has grown substantially in recent years and has created governance challenges. In light of this recent growth, and increasing attention to global shale gas resources, the successes and failures of governance efforts in this country serve as important lessons for other nations that have their own unconventional petroleum resources and are beginning to move forward with development, thus calling for a more in-depth examination of the laws governing shale gas development and their implementation. Governance includes both the substance of laws and the activities of entities that implement and influence laws, and in the case of oil and gas, states are primarily responsible for risk governance. Nongovernmental actors and industry also work with states to shape and implement regulations and standards. This Policy Analysis introduces the role of various actors in U.S. shale gas governance, explaining why the states are primarily responsible for risk governance, and explores the capacity of states to conduct governance, examining the content of their laws and the strength of their regulatory entities. The Analysis concludes that states are, to a degree, addressing the changing risks of development. Gaps remain in the substance of regulations, however, and many states appear to lack adequate support or policies for training industry in compliance matters, monitoring activity at sites, prioritizing certain types of regulatory violations that pose the highest risks, enforcing laws, and ensuring that the public is aware of inspections and enforcement and can therefore monitor state activity.

  13. Senate Forum on Shale Gas Development Explores Environmental and Industry Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-06-01

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources brought together industry and environmental leaders for a 23 May forum that focused on industry best practices and environmental concerns related to the current shale gas boom. The boom in shale gas development has been brought about in large part through advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to increase shale oil and gas production.

  14. Impact of shale gas development on regional water quality.

    PubMed

    Vidic, R D; Brantley, S L; Vandenbossche, J M; Yoxtheimer, D; Abad, J D

    2013-05-17

    Unconventional natural gas resources offer an opportunity to access a relatively clean fossil fuel that could potentially lead to energy independence for some countries. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing make the extraction of tightly bound natural gas from shale formations economically feasible. These technologies are not free from environmental risks, however, especially those related to regional water quality, such as gas migration, contaminant transport through induced and natural fractures, wastewater discharge, and accidental spills. We review the current understanding of environmental issues associated with unconventional gas extraction. Improved understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants of concern and increased long-term monitoring and data dissemination will help manage these water-quality risks today and in the future.

  15. Structure and shale gas production patterns from eastern Kentucky field

    SciTech Connect

    Shumaker, R.C.

    1987-09-01

    Computer-derived subsurface structure, isopach, and gas-flow maps, based on 4000 drillers logs, have been generated for eastern Kentucky under a project sponsored by the Gas Research Institute. Structure maps show low-relief flextures related to basement structure. Some structures have been mapped at the surface, others have not. Highest final open-flow (fof) of shale gas from wells in Martin County follow a structural low between (basement) anticlines. From there, elevated gas flows (fof) extend westward along the Warfield monocline to Floyd County where the high flow (fof) trend extends southward along the Floyd County channel. In Knott County, the number of wells with high gas flow (fof) decreases abruptly. The center of highest gas flow (fof) in Floyd County spreads eastward to Pike County, forming a triangular shaped area of high production (fof). The center of highest gas flow (fof) is in an area where possible (basement) structure trends intersect and where low-relief surface folds (probably detached structure) were mapped and shown on the 1922 version of the Floyd County structure map. Modern regional maps, based on geophysical logs from widely spaced wells, do not define the low-relief structures that have been useful in predicting gas flow trends. Detailed maps based on drillers logs can be misleading unless carefully edited. Comparative analysis of high gas flows (fof) and 10-year cumulative production figures in a small area confirms that there is a relationship between gas flow (fof) values and long-term cumulative production.

  16. CO2 Utilization and Storage in Shale Gas Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaef, T.; Glezakou, V.; Owen, T.; Miller, Q.; Loring, J.; Davidson, C.; McGrail, P.

    2013-12-01

    Surging natural gas production from fractured shale reservoirs and the emerging concept of utilizing anthropogenic CO2 for secondary recovery and permanent storage is driving the need for understanding fundamental mechanisms controlling gas adsorption and desorption processes, mineral volume changes, and impacts to transmissivity properties. Early estimates indicate that between 10 and 30 gigatons of CO2 storage capacity may exist in the 24 shale gas plays included in current USGS assessments. However, the adsorption of gases (CO2, CH4, and SO2) is not well understood and appears unique for individual clay minerals. Using specialized experimental techniques developed at PNNL, pure clay minerals were examined at relevant pressures and temperatures during exposure to CH4, CO2, and mixtures of CO2-SO2. Adsorbed concentrations of methane displayed a linear behavior as a function of pressure as determined by a precision quartz crystal microbalance. Acid gases produced differently shaped adsorption isotherms, depending on temperature and pressure. In the instance of kaolinite, gaseous CO2 adsorbed linearly, but in the presence of supercritical CO2, surface condensation increased significantly to a peak value before desorbing with further increases in pressure. Similarly shaped CO2 adsorption isotherms derived from natural shale samples and coal samples have been reported in the literature. Adsorption steps, determined by density functional theory calculations, showed they were energetically favorable until the first CO2 layer formed, corresponding to a density of ~0.35 g/cm3. Interlayer cation content (Ca, Mg, or Na) of montmorillonites influenced adsorbed gas concentrations. Measurements by in situ x-ray diffraction demonstrate limited CO2 diffusion into the Na-montmorillonite interlayer spacing, with structural changes related to increased hydration. Volume changes were observed when Ca or Mg saturated montmorillonites in the 1W hydration state were exposed to

  17. Assembling probabilistic performance parameters of shale-gas wells

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cook, Troy; Charpentier, Ronald R.

    2010-01-01

    Shale-gas well productivity estimates in USGS assessments from 1995 to present are based on studies that require decline curve fits and analysis to a large sample or to all wells within a particular assessment unit. Probabilistic type curves can be created on nearly any size well group and were designed for use within a resource context. The probabilistic type curve was designed to improve on the familiar format of a deterministic type curve by showing the full range of production possibilities for a given group of wells. Additional information was added to make certain components, such as data density and nonproducing wells, more explicit.

  18. The Economic Impact of Shale Gas Production in the U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yang

    Energy is important to our daily lives. A price change of one energy type may influence our consumption choices, commodities prices and industry production. For the United States, shale gas is becoming a promising source of natural gas because of the rapid increase in its reserve and production capacity. Shale gas production is projected to be a large proportion of U.S. gas production, as predicted by Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, besides knowing the big picture, more details are needed before characterizing shale gas as a "game changer." It is interesting to address questions like to what extent the production of shale gas could affect other industries' production, stabilize commodities' prices, and what are the impacts on factor payments, capital returns, labor payments and household consumption. In this study, I use a CGE model to measure the impact on industry and the change in social welfare associated with shale gas production.

  19. Noble Gas Tracing of Fluid Transport in Shale Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, J. E.; Gardner, W. P.; Kuhlman, K. L.; Robinson, D. G.; Bauer, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate fluid transport mechanisms in a shale reservoir using natural noble gas tracers. Noble gas tracing is promising due to sensitivity of transport to: pore structure and sizes; phase partitioning between groundwater and liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons; and deformation from hydraulic fracturing and creation of surface area. A time-series of over thirty wellhead fluid samples were collected from two hydraulically-fractured wells with different oil-to-gas ratios, along with production data (i.e., flowrate and pressure). Tracer and production data sets can be combined to infer production flow regimes, to estimate reservoir transport parameters, and to improve forecasts of production decline. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  20. The flux of radionuclides in flowback fluid from shale gas exploitation.

    PubMed

    Almond, S; Clancy, S A; Davies, R J; Worrall, F

    2014-11-01

    This study considers the flux of radioactivity in flowback fluid from shale gas development in three areas: the Carboniferous, Bowland Shale, UK; the Silurian Shale, Poland; and the Carboniferous Barnett Shale, USA. The radioactive flux from these basins was estimated, given estimates of the number of wells developed or to be developed, the flowback volume per well and the concentration of K (potassium) and Ra (radium) in the flowback water. For comparative purposes, the range of concentration was itself considered within four scenarios for the concentration range of radioactive measured in each shale gas basin, the groundwater of the each shale gas basin, global groundwater and local surface water. The study found that (i) for the Barnett Shale and the Silurian Shale, Poland, the 1 % exceedance flux in flowback water was between seven and eight times that would be expected from local groundwater. However, for the Bowland Shale, UK, the 1 % exceedance flux (the flux that would only be expected to be exceeded 1 % of the time, i.e. a reasonable worst case scenario) in flowback water was 500 times that expected from local groundwater. (ii) In no scenario was the 1 % exceedance exposure greater than 1 mSv-the allowable annual exposure allowed for in the UK. (iii) The radioactive flux of per energy produced was lower for shale gas than for conventional oil and gas production, nuclear power production and electricity generated through burning coal.

  1. Efficiency of Natural Gas Flares Associated with Shale Formation Wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stirm, B.; Caulton, D.; Shepson, P.; Cambaliza, M. L.; Mccabe, D. C.; Baum, E.

    2012-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing has increased access and economic viability of shale oil reserves. Currently the Bakken Oil field in North Dakota is experiencing a rapid increase in the drilling of shale oil wells. However, this process typically results in the simultaneous release of natural gas. Low natural gas prices and the lack of local gas pipeline infrastructure have decreased the incentive for companies to capture this natural gas, with many opting to vent or flare the natural gas instead. The impact of these operations on greenhouse gas emissions has not been well characterized. An undocumented variable of interest is the destruction efficiency of methane in active oil field flares. In situ measurements of flare efficiency are difficult to obtain because of the inaccessibility of the flares. In June of 2012 we conducted flights over shale oil wells and flares in the Bakken Formation near Williston, ND using Purdue University's Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (ALAR) which is equipped with a 0.5 Hz Picarro CO2/CH4/H2O analyzer and a Best Air Turbulence (BAT) probe that measures the wind vectors. In addition, one flare in the Marcellus Formation near Washington, PA was also sampled. Flare signals were identified based on the enhancements of CO2 above the ambient background signal and the corresponding colocated CH4 concentration. Enhancements were isolated by subtracting the background concentrations of CO2 and CH4 to obtain delta CO2 and delta CH4 values. Emission factors to be reported are obtained as the ratio delta CH4 divided by delta CO2. We will report first in situ measurements of natural gas flare efficiency. We observed a variety of meteorological conditions with winds ranging from 4 to 15 m/s and will report on the relationship between wind speed and flare efficiency. We observed very high flare efficiency even under strong winds (at least 99.8% CO2 for all flares). During flare sampling, we observed a number of CH4 enhancements that were

  2. Zero Discharge Water Management for Horizontal Shale Gas Well Development

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Ziemkiewicz; Jennifer Hause; Raymond Lovett; David Locke Harry Johnson; Doug Patchen

    2012-03-31

    Hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking), coupled with horizontal drilling, has facilitated exploitation of huge natural gas (gas) reserves in the Devonian-age Marcellus Shale Formation (Marcellus) of the Appalachian Basin. The most-efficient technique for stimulating Marcellus gas production involves hydraulic fracturing (injection of a water-based fluid and sand mixture) along a horizontal well bore to create a series of hydraulic fractures in the Marcellus. The hydraulic fractures free the shale-trapped gas, allowing it to flow to the well bore where it is conveyed to pipelines for transport and distribution. The hydraulic fracturing process has two significant effects on the local environment. First, water withdrawals from local sources compete with the water requirements of ecosystems, domestic and recreational users, and/or agricultural and industrial uses. Second, when the injection phase is over, 10 to 30% of the injected water returns to the surface. This water consists of flowback, which occurs between the completion of fracturing and gas production, and produced water, which occurs during gas production. Collectively referred to as returned frac water (RFW), it is highly saline with varying amounts of organic contamination. It can be disposed of, either by injection into an approved underground injection well, or treated to remove contaminants so that the water meets the requirements of either surface release or recycle use. Depending on the characteristics of the RFW and the availability of satisfactory disposal alternatives, disposal can impose serious costs to the operator. In any case, large quantities of water must be transported to and from well locations, contributing to wear and tear on local roadways that were not designed to handle the heavy loads and increased traffic. The search for a way to mitigate the situation and improve the overall efficiency of shale gas production suggested a treatment method that would allow RFW to be used as make

  3. History of gas production from Devonian shale in eastern Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Kemper, J.R.; Frankie, W.T.; Smath, R.A.; Moody, J.R.; Johnston, I.M.; Elkin, R.R.

    1988-08-01

    More than 10,500 wells that penetrate the Devonian shale have been compiled into a data base covering a 25-county area of eastern Kentucky. This area includes the Big Sandy gas field, the largest in the Appalachian basin, and marginal areas to the southwest, west, and northwest. The development of the Big Sandy gas field began in the 1920s in western Floyd County, Kentucky, and moved concentrically outward through 1970. Since 1971, the trend has been for infill and marginal drilling, and fewer companies have been involved. The resulting outline of the Big Sandy gas field covers most of Letcher, Knott, Floyd, Martin, and Pike Counties in Kentucky; it also extends into West Virginia. Outside the Big Sandy gas field, exploration for gas has been inconsistent, with a much higher ratio of dry holes. The results of this study, which was partially supported by the Gas Research Institute (GRI), indicate that certain geologic factors, such as fracture size and spacing, probably determine the distribution of commercial gas reserves as well as the outline of the Big Sandy gas field. Future Big Sandy infill and extension drilling will need to be based on an understanding of these factors.

  4. Harmonization of initial estimates of shale gas life cycle greenhouse gas emissions for electric power generation

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Garvin A.; O’Donoughue, Patrick; Arent, Douglas J.; Bazilian, Morgan

    2014-01-01

    Recent technological advances in the recovery of unconventional natural gas, particularly shale gas, have served to dramatically increase domestic production and reserve estimates for the United States and internationally. This trend has led to lowered prices and increased scrutiny on production practices. Questions have been raised as to how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the life cycle of shale gas production and use compares with that of conventionally produced natural gas or other fuel sources such as coal. Recent literature has come to different conclusions on this point, largely due to differing assumptions, comparison baselines, and system boundaries. Through a meta-analytical procedure we call harmonization, we develop robust, analytically consistent, and updated comparisons of estimates of life cycle GHG emissions for electricity produced from shale gas, conventionally produced natural gas, and coal. On a per-unit electrical output basis, harmonization reveals that median estimates of GHG emissions from shale gas-generated electricity are similar to those for conventional natural gas, with both approximately half that of the central tendency of coal. Sensitivity analysis on the harmonized estimates indicates that assumptions regarding liquids unloading and estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of wells have the greatest influence on life cycle GHG emissions, whereby shale gas life cycle GHG emissions could approach the range of best-performing coal-fired generation under certain scenarios. Despite clarification of published estimates through harmonization, these initial assessments should be confirmed through methane emissions measurements at components and in the atmosphere and through better characterization of EUR and practices. PMID:25049378

  5. Selling 'Fracking': Legitimation of High Speed Oil and Gas Extraction in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matz, Jacob R.

    The advent of horizontal hydraulic fracture drilling, or 'fracking,' a technology used to access oil and natural gas deposits, has allowed for the extraction of deep, unconventional shale gas and oil deposits in various shale seams throughout the United States and world. One such shale seam, the Marcellus shale, extends from New York State, across Pennsylvania, and throughout West Virginia, where shale gas development has significantly increased within the last decade. This boom has created a massive amount of economic activity surrounding the energy industry, creating jobs for workers, income from leases and royalties for landowners, and profits for energy conglomerates. However, this bounty comes with risks to environmental and public health, and has led to divisive community polarization over the issue in the Marcellus shale region. In the face of potential environmental and social disruption, and a great deal of controversy surrounding 'fracking,' the oil and gas industry has had to undertake a myriad of public relations campaigns and initiatives to legitimize their extraction efforts in the Marcellus shale region, and to project the oil and gas industry in a positive light to residents, policy makers, and landowners. This thesis describes one such public relations initiative, the Energy in Depth Northeast Marcellus Initiative. Through qualitative content analysis of Energy in Depth's online web material, this thesis examines the ways in which the oil and gas industry narrates the shale gas boom in the Marcellus shale region, and the ways in which the industry frames the discourse surrounding natural gas development. Through the use of environmental imagery, appeals to scientific reason, and appeals to patriotism, the oil and gas industry uses Energy in Depth to frame the shale gas extraction process in a positive way, all the while framing those who question or oppose the processes of shale gas extraction as irrational obstructionists.

  6. Evaluation of EL836 explosive stimulation of Devonian gas shale

    SciTech Connect

    Barbour, T G

    1980-07-01

    This report presents an evaluation of EL836, an explosive developed at E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company Laboratories, in stimulating gas shale. EL836 is a water gel type explosive with a high aluminum content. The computational evaluation of EL836 involved four one-dimensional cyclindrical geometry calculations to assess the influence of two equation-of-state descriptios of EL836, the effect or rock yielding and the effect of internal crack pressurization. Results of a computational evaluation of the EL836 explosive in stimulating Devonian gas shale suggest the following: Extensive plastic yielding will occur in a region immediate to the borehole. Extensive tensile fracture will occur in a region that begins at the outer boundary of plastic deformation and terminates at more than 100 borehole radii. Without a mechanism of ;near-wellbore fracture, such as crushing or pre-cracking during drilling or intentional borehole grooving, the plastic flow that occurs adjacent to the wellbore causes stress redistributions which prohibit early-time (less than a millisecond) tensile fracture immediate to the wellbore and thus prohibits gas penetration from the wellbore into the crack system. The barrier that the near-wellbore plastic zone presents to gas flow from the wellbore is reduced in radial dimension as time increases. Natural fractures in the wellbore wall or cataclysmic deformation and fracture adjacent to the wellbore, as a result of the explosive detonation, will likely assist in breaking down the barrier to gas flow. Very significatn enhancement is achieved in the EL836 stimulation treatment when gases penetrate the stress-wave induced radial cracks. Only minor differences were observed in the EL836 stimulation effects when comparison is made between two different explosive equations-of-state. 33 figures, 2 tables.

  7. USA-France: Confronting two perspectives on shale gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gautier, C.; Fellous, J.

    2013-12-01

    Exploiting shale gas and oil can be seen from very different perspectives, whether you live in the US where it is a decade long reality shaping the country's energy landscape or in France, where it is banned by law since 2011. Beyond this situation, the overall legal framework that regulates (or not) environmental and water protection, the use of chemicals, land ownership and the exploitation of underground mineral resources, the attribution of licenses for exploration and exploitation, etc. in Europe (and particularly in France, the only European country with Bulgaria where hydraulic fracturation is strictly forbidden) and in the US is at complete variance. This presentation will discuss subsequent attitudes vis-à-vis exploration, exploitation, scientific research on shale gas and fracking, and public activism that has arisen as a result of environmental, socioeconomic and human concerns. It will compare and contrast the different views and look at lessons that can be learned from those differences. This work is building upon the experience of the authors who have studied the issues relating to energy, water, population and climate and their connections, as seen from both sides of the Atlantic.

  8. Brighter Choices in Albany

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Peter

    2009-01-01

    During much of the previous nine years, Tom Carroll had overseen the launch of eight charter schools in Albany. All of Tom Carroll's Albany charter schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Not only that, they had become the best schools in the city. Tom Carroll now runs the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability (FERA), which…

  9. 78 FR 64905 - Carriage of Conditionally Permitted Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water in Bulk

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-30

    ... Waste Water in Bulk AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments... shale gas extraction waste water in bulk via barge, and invites public comment. The policy letter... endorsement or letter allowing the barge to transport shale gas extraction waste water in bulk. The...

  10. Analysis of the structural parameters that influence gas production from the Devonian shale. Annual progress report, 1979-1980

    SciTech Connect

    Negus-de Wys, J.; Dixon, J. M.; Evans, M. A.; Lee, K. D.; Ruotsala, J. E.; Wilson, T. H.; Williams, R. T.

    1980-10-01

    The executive study presents the results and progress of efforts toward understanding shale gas production from the Devonian shale in Appalachia. A correlation was found between the geochemical parameters of the shale in eastern Kentucky and shale gas production there. Tasks on resource inventory tasks and shale characterization include regional structure studies, production studies, geophysical studies, structure studies, fracture density and orientation, and fracture studies. (DLC)

  11. Water use for Shale-gas production in Texas, U.S.

    PubMed

    Nicot, Jean-Philippe; Scanlon, Bridget R

    2012-03-20

    Shale-gas production using hydraulic fracturing of mostly horizontal wells has led to considerable controversy over water-resource and environmental impacts. The study objective was to quantify net water use for shale-gas production using data from Texas, which is the dominant producer of shale gas in the U.S. with a focus on three major plays: the Barnett Shale (~15,000 wells, mid-2011), Texas-Haynesville Shale (390 wells), and Eagle Ford Shale (1040 wells). Past water use was estimated from well-completion data, and future water use was extrapolated from past water use constrained by shale-gas resources. Cumulative water use in the Barnett totaled 145 Mm(3) (2000-mid-2011). Annual water use represents ~9% of water use in Dallas (population 1.3 million). Water use in younger (2008-mid-2011) plays, although less (6.5 Mm(3) Texas-Haynesville, 18 Mm(3) Eagle Ford), is increasing rapidly. Water use for shale gas is <1% of statewide water withdrawals; however, local impacts vary with water availability and competing demands. Projections of cumulative net water use during the next 50 years in all shale plays total ~4350 Mm(3), peaking at 145 Mm(3) in the mid-2020s and decreasing to 23 Mm(3) in 2060. Current freshwater use may shift to brackish water to reduce competition with other users.

  12. Synthetic Seismic Study for Hydraulic Fracture in Shale-Gas Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Y.; Li, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Many studies have been done regarding performance of hydraulically fractured horizontal wells in the Bakken Shale Play (Wiley et. al., 2004; Mille et. al., 2008; Tabatabaei et. al., 2009). It's of great interest that whether the invaded brine causes the gas shale layer to behave differently in seismic profile due to potentially important application on reservoir monitoring and management for gas shale reservoirs. Because gas shale formations are generally much thinner than their adjacent layers (usually less than 100 meters), it's usually difficult to pick the reflection wave response of gas shale layer from in-situ seismic profile. Therefore, we have designed a workflow to investigate the effects of hydraulic fracture in gas shale reservoir by using synthetic seismic survey on simplified subsurface model. The simplified model mainly consists of several horizontally homogeneous layers of sand and shale, whereas the hydraulic fracture occurs in the middle thin gas shale formation and causes brine invasion in part of it. The goal of the synthetic seismic investigation is to see how the response of the reflection wave from this layer behaves differently due to the hydraulic fracture. Due to the thickness and complex nature of shale reservoir, the greatest challenge would be to pick the seismic response of this formation from the background noise and to study the range of thickness and the depth of burial for this layer to be seismically detectable for the purpose of hydraulic fracture study. Seismic investigation is rarely used in the reservoir monitoring of gas shale reservoir due to seismic resolution limit. Thus, this study will help to explore potential seismic applications for gas shale reservoirs and improve understanding of seismic response of hydraulic fracture on unconventional reservoirs.

  13. Organic compounds in produced waters from shale gas wells.

    PubMed

    Maguire-Boyle, Samuel J; Barron, Andrew R

    2014-01-01

    A detailed analysis is reported of the organic composition of produced water samples from typical shale gas wells in the Marcellus (PA), Eagle Ford (TX), and Barnett (NM) formations. The quality of shale gas produced (and frac flowback) waters is a current environmental concern and disposal problem for producers. Re-use of produced water for hydraulic fracturing is being encouraged; however, knowledge of the organic impurities is important in determining the method of treatment. The metal content was determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Mineral elements are expected depending on the reservoir geology and salts used in hydraulic fracturing; however, significant levels of other transition metals and heavier main group elements are observed. The presence of scaling elements (Ca and Ba) is related to the pH of the water rather than total dissolved solids (TDS). Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis of the chloroform extracts of the produced water samples, a plethora of organic compounds were identified. In each water sample, the majority of organics are saturated (aliphatic), and only a small fraction comes under aromatic, resin, and asphaltene categories. Unlike coalbed methane produced water it appears that shale oil/gas produced water does not contain significant quantities of polyaromatic hydrocarbons reducing the potential health hazard. Marcellus and Barnett produced waters contain predominantly C6-C16 hydrocarbons, while the Eagle Ford produced water shows the highest concentration in the C17-C30 range. The structures of the saturated hydrocarbons identified generally follows the trend of linear > branched > cyclic. Heterocyclic compounds are identified with the largest fraction being fatty alcohols, esters, and ethers. However, the presence of various fatty acid phthalate esters in the Barnett and Marcellus produced waters can be related to their use in drilling fluids and breaker additives

  14. Studying the possibility of separate and joint combustion of Estonian shales and oil shale retort gas at thermal power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roslyakov, P. V.; Attikas, Raivo; Zaichenko, M. N.; Pleshanov, K. A.; Ionkin, I. L.

    2015-10-01

    Results from investigations of joint and separate combustion of shale with a low heating value and oil shale retort gas (OSRG) are presented. The question about the possibility of further using shale as basic fuel is presently placed on the agenda. This matter is connected with the fact that the environmental regulations are imposing increasingly more stringent limits on emissions of harmful substances and that a decrease in the shale heating value is predicted. An adequate mathematical model of one of the TP-101 boilers installed at the Estonian power plant was developed and verified for carrying out investigations. Criteria for determining the reliability, efficiency, and environmental safety of equipment operation were formulated based on the operating chart, regulatory documents, and environmental requirements. Assessment of the possibility of boiler operation and the boiler unit as a whole in firing shale with a low calorific value has shown that despite fulfilling the required superheated steam parameters, quite a number of limitations relating to reliable operation of the boiler are not complied with. In addition, normal operation of forced-draft equipment and mills is possible only at low loads. For operation with joint combustion of shale and OSRG, the fractions of degraded-quality shale and OSRG (by heat) at which reliable and efficient operation of the boiler and boiler unit is ensured in the entire working range of loads with fulfilling the environmental standards are determined. Proposals on modifying the equipment for joint combustion of shale and OSRG are formulated. Boiler operation with firing OSRG as main fuel was modeled for three versions of furnace waterwall thermal efficiency with a view to estimate possible changes of boiler operation in carrying out waterwall cleaning operations. Calculation results have shown that operation of the boiler and boiler unit meeting the elaborated criteria is possible in the entire working range of loads with

  15. Potential restrictions for CO2 sequestration sites due to shale and tight gas production.

    PubMed

    Elliot, T R; Celia, M A

    2012-04-03

    Carbon capture and geological sequestration is the only available technology that both allows continued use of fossil fuels in the power sector and reduces significantly the associated CO(2) emissions. Geological sequestration requires a deep permeable geological formation into which captured CO(2)can be injected, and an overlying impermeable formation, called a caprock, that keeps the buoyant CO(2) within the injection formation. Shale formations typically have very low permeability and are considered to be good caprock formations. Production of natural gas from shale and other tight formations involves fracturing the shale with the explicit objective to greatly increase the permeability of the shale. As such, shale gas production is in direct conflict with the use of shale formations as a caprock barrier to CO(2) migration. We have examined the locations in the United States where deep saline aquifers, suitable for CO(2) sequestration, exist, as well as the locations of gas production from shale and other tight formations. While estimated sequestration capacity for CO(2) sequestration in deep saline aquifers is large, up to 80% of that capacity has areal overlap with potential shale-gas production regions and, therefore, could be adversely affected by shale and tight gas production. Analysis of stationary sources of CO(2) shows a similar effect: about two-thirds of the total emissions from these sources are located within 20 miles of a deep saline aquifer, but shale and tight gas production could affect up to 85% of these sources. These analyses indicate that colocation of deep saline aquifers with shale and tight gas production could significantly affect the sequestration capacity for CCS operations. This suggests that a more comprehensive management strategy for subsurface resource utilization should be developed.

  16. Modeling of gas generation from the Barnett Shale, Fort Worth Basin, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, R.J.; Zhang, E.; Katz, B.J.; Tang, Y.

    2007-01-01

    The generative gas potential of the Mississippian Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin, Texas, was quantitatively evaluated by sealed gold-tube pyrolysis. Kinetic parameters for gas generation and vitrinite reflectance (Ro) changes were calculated from pyrolysis data and the results used to estimate the amount of gas generated from the Barnett Shale at geologic heating rates. Using derived kinetics for Ro evolution and gas generation, quantities of hydrocarbon gas generated at Ro ??? 1.1% are about 230 L/t (7.4 scf/t) and increase to more that 5800 L/t (186 scf/t) at Ro ??? 2.0% for a sample with an initial total organic carbon content of 5.5% and Ro = 0.44%. The volume of shale gas generated will depend on the organic richness, thickness, and thermal maturity of the shale and also the amount of petroleum that is retained in the shale during migration. Gas that is reservoired in shales appears to be generated from the cracking of kerogen and petroleum that is retained in shales, and that cracking of the retained petroleum starts by Ro ??? 1.1%. This result suggests that the cracking of petroleum retained in source rocks occurs at rates that are faster than what is predicted for conventional siliciclastic and carbonate reservoirs, and that contact of retained petroleum with kerogen and shale mineralogy may be a critical factor in shale-gas generation. Shale-gas systems, together with overburden, can be considered complete petroleum systems, although the processes of petroleum migration, accumulation, and trap formation are different from what is defined for conventional petroleum systems. Copyright ?? 2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  17. The Antrim shale, fractured gas reservoirs with immense potential

    SciTech Connect

    Manger, K.C.; Woods, T.J. Curtis, J.B.

    1996-12-31

    Antrim shale gas production has grown from 0.4 Bcf of gas in 1987 to 127 Bcf in 1994, causing record gas production in Michigan. Recent industry activity suggests the play will continue to expand. The GRI Hydrocarbon Model`s Antrim resource base description was developed in 1991 based on industry activity through 1990. The 1991 description estimated 32 Tcf of recoverable resource, and was limited to northern Michigan which represents only part of the Antrim`s total potential. This description indicated production could increase manyfold, even with low prices. However, its well recovery rate is less than current industry results and projected near term production lags actual production by 1 to 2 years. GRI is updating its description to better reflect current industry results and incorporate all prospective areas. The description in northern Michigan is updated using production and well data through 1994 and results from GRI`s research program. The description is then expanded to the entire basin. Results indicate the northern resource is somewhat larger than the previous estimate and the wells perform better. Extrapolation to the entire basin using a geologic analog model approximately doubles the 1991 estimate. The model considers depositional, structural, and tectonic influences; fracturing; organic content; thermal history; and hydrocarbon generation, migration and storage. Pleistocene glaciation and biogenic gas are also included for areas near the Antrim subcrop.

  18. The Antrim shale, fractured gas reservoirs with immense potential

    SciTech Connect

    Manger, K.C. ); Woods, T.J. ) Curtis, J.B. )

    1996-01-01

    Antrim shale gas production has grown from 0.4 Bcf of gas in 1987 to 127 Bcf in 1994, causing record gas production in Michigan. Recent industry activity suggests the play will continue to expand. The GRI Hydrocarbon Model's Antrim resource base description was developed in 1991 based on industry activity through 1990. The 1991 description estimated 32 Tcf of recoverable resource, and was limited to northern Michigan which represents only part of the Antrim's total potential. This description indicated production could increase manyfold, even with low prices. However, its well recovery rate is less than current industry results and projected near term production lags actual production by 1 to 2 years. GRI is updating its description to better reflect current industry results and incorporate all prospective areas. The description in northern Michigan is updated using production and well data through 1994 and results from GRI's research program. The description is then expanded to the entire basin. Results indicate the northern resource is somewhat larger than the previous estimate and the wells perform better. Extrapolation to the entire basin using a geologic analog model approximately doubles the 1991 estimate. The model considers depositional, structural, and tectonic influences; fracturing; organic content; thermal history; and hydrocarbon generation, migration and storage. Pleistocene glaciation and biogenic gas are also included for areas near the Antrim subcrop.

  19. The Shale Gas Boom and the Need for Rational Policy

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Madelon; Law, Adam

    2013-01-01

    High-volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing of shale relies on pumping millions of gallons of surface water laced with toxic chemicals and sand under high pressure to create fractures to release the flow of gas. The process, however, has the potential to cause serious and irreparable damage to the environment and the potential for harm to human and animal health. At issue is how society should form appropriate policy in the absence of well-designed epidemiological studies and health impact assessments. The issue is fraught with environmental, economic, and health implications, and federal and state governments must establish detailed safeguards and ensure regulatory oversight, both of which are presently lacking in states where hydraulic fracturing is allowed. PMID:23678928

  20. The shale gas boom and the need for rational policy.

    PubMed

    Finkel, Madelon; Hays, Jake; Law, Adam

    2013-07-01

    High-volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing of shale relies on pumping millions of gallons of surface water laced with toxic chemicals and sand under high pressure to create fractures to release the flow of gas. The process, however, has the potential to cause serious and irreparable damage to the environment and the potential for harm to human and animal health. At issue is how society should form appropriate policy in the absence of well-designed epidemiological studies and health impact assessments. The issue is fraught with environmental, economic, and health implications, and federal and state governments must establish detailed safeguards and ensure regulatory oversight, both of which are presently lacking in states where hydraulic fracturing is allowed.

  1. Impact of Shale Gas Development on Water Resource in Fuling, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hong; Huang, Xianjin; Yang, Qinyuan; Tu, Jianjun

    2015-04-01

    As a low-carbon energy, shale gas rapidly developed in U.S. in last years due to the innovation of the technique of hydraulic fracture, or fracking. Shale gas boom produces more gas with low price and reduced the reliance on fuel import. To follow the American shale gas success, China made an ambitious plan of shale gas extraction, 6.5 billion m3 by 2015. To extract shale gas, huge amount water is needed to inject into each gas well. This will intensify the competition of water use between industry, agricultural and domestic sectors. It may finally exacerbate the water scarcity in China. After the extraction, some water was returned to the ground. Without adequate treatment, the flowback water can introduce heavy metal, acids, pesticides, and other toxic material into water and land. This may inevitably worsen the water and land contamination. This study analysed the potential water consumption and wastewater generation in shale gas development in Fuling, Southwest China. The survey found the average water consumption is 30,000 cubic meter for one well, higher than shale well in U.S. Some 2%-20% water flowed back to the ground. The water quality monitoring showed the Total Suspended Solid (TSS) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) were the main factors above those specified by China's water regulation. Shale gas is a lower-carbon energy, but it is important to recognize the water consuming and environmental pollution during the fracking. Strict monitoring and good coordination during the shale gas exploitation is urgently needed for the balance of economic development, energy demand and environmental protection.

  2. Shale gas reservoir characteristics of Ordovician-Silurian formations in the central Yangtze area, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Chang'an; Zhang, Tingshan; Wei, Yong; Zhang, Zhao

    2017-03-01

    The characteristics of a shale gas reservoir and the potential of a shale gas resource of Ordovician-Silurian age in the north of the central Yangtze area were determined. Core samples from three wells in the study area were subjected to thin-section examination, scanning electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance testing, X-ray diffraction mineral analysis, total organic carbon (TOC) testing, maturity testing, gas-bearing analysis, and gas component and isothermal adsorption experiments. A favorable segment of the gas shale reservoir was found in both the Wufeng Formation and the lower part of the Longmaxi Formation; these formations were formed from the late Katian to early Rhuddanian. The high-quality shale layers in wells J1, J2, and J3 featured thicknesses of 54.88 m, 48.49 m, and 52.00 m, respectively, and mainly comprised carbonaceous and siliceous shales. Clay and brittle minerals showed average contents of 37.5% and 62.5% (48.9% quartz), respectively. The shale exhibited type II1 kerogens with a vitrinite reflectance ranging from 1.94% to 3.51%. TOC contents of 0.22%-6.05% (average, 2.39%) were also observed. The reservoir spaces mainly included micropores and microfractures and were characterized by low porosity and permeability. Well J3 showed generally high gas contents, i.e., 1.12-3.16 m3/t (average 2.15 m3/t), and its gas was primarily methane. The relatively thick black shale reservoir featured high TOC content, high organic material maturity, high brittle mineral content, high gas content, low porosity, and low permeability. Shale gas adsorption was positively correlated with TOC content and organic maturity, weakly positive correlated with quartz content, and weakly negatively correlated with clay content. Therefore, the Wufeng and Longmaxi formations in the north of the central Yangtze area have a good potential for shale gas exploration.

  3. Micro and nano-size pores of clay minerals in shale reservoirs: Implication for the accumulation of shale gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shangbin; Han, Yufu; Fu, Changqin; Zhang, han; Zhu, Yanming; Zuo, Zhaoxi

    2016-08-01

    A pore is an essential component of shale gas reservoirs. Clay minerals are the adsorption carrier second only to organic matter. This paper uses the organic maturity test, Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM), and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) to study the structure and effect of clay minerals on storing gas in shales. Results show the depositional environment and organic maturity influence the content and types of clay minerals as well as their structure in the three types of sedimentary facies in China. Clay minerals develop multi-size pores which shrink to micro- and nano-size by close compaction during diagenesis. Micro- and nano-pores can be divided into six types: 1) interlayer, 2) intergranular, 3) pore and fracture in contact with organic matter, 4) pore and fracture in contact with other types of minerals, 5) dissolved and, 6) micro-cracks. The contribution of clay minerals to the presence of pores in shale is evident and the clay plane porosity can even reach 16%, close to the contribution of organic matter. The amount of clay minerals and pores displays a positive correlation. Clay minerals possess a strong adsorption which is affected by moisture and reservoir maturity. Different pore levels of clay minerals are mutually arranged, thus essentially producing distinct reservoir adsorption effects. Understanding the structural characteristics of micro- and nano-pores in clay minerals can provide a tool for the exploration and development of shale gas reservoirs.

  4. Microbial production of natural gas from coal and organic-rich shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orem, William

    2013-01-01

    Natural gas is an important component of the energy mix in the United States, producing greater energy yield per unit weight and less pollution compared to coal and oil. Most of the world’s natural gas resource is thermogenic, produced in the geologic environment over time by high temperature and pressure within deposits of oil, coal, and shale. About 20 percent of the natural gas resource, however, is produced by microorganisms (microbes). Microbes potentially could be used to generate economic quantities of natural gas from otherwise unexploitable coal and shale deposits, from coal and shale from which natural gas has already been recovered, and from waste material such as coal slurry. Little is known, however, about the microbial production of natural gas from coal and shale.

  5. Gas seal for an in situ oil shale retort and method of forming thermal barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Burton, R.S.

    1982-02-16

    A gas seal is provided in an access drift excavated in a subterranean formation containing oil shale. The access drift is adjacent an in situ oil shale retort and is in gas communication with the fragmented permeable mass of formation particles containing oil shale formed in the in situ oil shale retort. The mass of formation particles extends into the access drift, forming a rubble pile of formation particles having a face approximately at the angle of repose of fragmented formation. The gas seal includes a temperature barrier which includes a layer of heat insulating material disposed on the face of the rubble pile of formation particles and additionally includes a gas barrier. The gas barrier is a gas-tight bulkhead installed across the access drift at a location in the access drift spaced apart from the temperature barrier.

  6. Gas seal for an in situ oil shale retort and method of forming thermal barrier

    DOEpatents

    Burton, III, Robert S.

    1982-01-01

    A gas seal is provided in an access drift excavated in a subterranean formation containing oil shale. The access drift is adjacent an in situ oil shale retort and is in gas communication with the fragmented permeable mass of formation particles containing oil shale formed in the in situ oil shale retort. The mass of formation particles extends into the access drift, forming a rubble pile of formation particles having a face approximately at the angle of repose of fragmented formation. The gas seal includes a temperature barrier which includes a layer of heat insulating material disposed on the face of the rubble pile of formation particles and additionally includes a gas barrier. The gas barrier is a gas-tight bulkhead installed across the access drift at a location in the access drift spaced apart from the temperature barrier.

  7. Surface water geochemical and isotopic variations in an area of accelerating Marcellus Shale gas development.

    PubMed

    Pelak, Adam J; Sharma, Shikha

    2014-12-01

    Water samples were collected from 50 streams in an area of accelerating shale gas development in the eastern U.S.A. The geochemical/isotopic characteristics show no correlation with the five categories of Marcellus Shale production. The sub-watersheds with the greatest density of Marcellus Shale development have also undergone extensive coal mining. Hence, geochemical/isotopic compositions were used to understand sources of salinity and effects of coal mining and shale gas development in the area. The data indicates that while some streams appear to be impacted by mine drainage; none appear to have received sustained contribution from deep brines or produced waters associated with shale gas production. However, it is important to note that our interpretations are based on one time synoptic base flow sampling of a few sampling stations and hence do account potential intermittent changes in chemistry that may result from major/minor spills or specific mine discharges on the surface water chemistry.

  8. Gas geochemistry characteristic of shale gas in Longmaxi Formation, SE Sichuan Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Chunhui; Du, Li; Li, Liwu; He, Jian; Li, Zhongping

    2017-01-01

    Shale gas samples collected from Lower Silurian Longmaxi Formation of Southern Sichuan Basin in Weiyuan were analysed for stable isotope composition of noble gases and molecular composition, stable carbon isotope composition of hydrocarbons. Results show these shale gases are of organic origin gas, and produced at high-over maturity stage. All the analysed hydrocarbon gases reveal complete inversed isotopic trends from methane to propane, and δ13C1, δ13C2 have obviously different between Weiyuan and Changning areas. CO2 was mainly generated during thermogenic processes of transformation of organic matter, although some gases can contain components from endogenic processes and from thermal destruction of carbonates. He and Ar are mainly product of α-decay of U and Th enriched in crustal materials. A small contribution of mantle origin He was found in the gas reservoirs. Continuous monitoring data indicate 3He/4He ratio didn’t change with the mining time.

  9. Airborne Trace Gas and Aerosol Measurements in Several Shale Gas Basins during the SONGNEX (Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus) Campaign 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warneke, C.; Trainer, M.; De Gouw, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Oil and natural gas from tight sand and shale formations has increased strongly over the last decade. This increased production has been associated with emissions of methane, non-methane hydrocarbons and other trace gases to the atmosphere, which are concerns for air quality, climate and air toxics. The NOAA Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) aircraft campaign took place in 2015, when the NOAA WP-3 aircraft conducted 20 research flights between March 19 and April 27, 2015 in the following shale gas regions: Denver-Julesberg, Uintah, Upper Green River, San Juan, Bakken, Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Woodford, and Permian. The NOAA P3 was equipped with an extensive set of gas phase measurements, including instruments for methane, ethane, CO, CO2, a new H3O+CIMS, canister and cartridge samples for VOCs, HCHO, glyoxal, HNO3, NH3, NOx, NOy, PANs, ozone, and SO2. Aerosol number and size distributions were also measured. This presentation will focus on an overview of all the measurements onboard the NOAA WP-3 aircraft and discuss the differences between the shale gas regions. Due to a drop in oil prices, drilling for oil decreased in the months prior to the mission, but nevertheless the production of oil and natural gas were near the all-time high. Many of the shale gas basins investigated during SONGNEX have quite different characteristics. For example, the Permian Basin is a well-established field, whereas the Eagle Ford and the Bakken saw an almost exponential increase in production over the last few years. The basins differ by the relative amounts of natural gas versus oil that is being produced. Previous work had shown a large variability in methane emissions relative to the production (leak rate) between different basins. By including more and qualitatively different basins during SONGNEX, the study has provided an extensive data set to address how emissions depend on raw gas composition, extraction techniques and regulation. The influence of these

  10. Wastewater management and Marcellus Shale gas development: trends, drivers, and planning implications.

    PubMed

    Rahm, Brian G; Bates, Josephine T; Bertoia, Lara R; Galford, Amy E; Yoxtheimer, David A; Riha, Susan J

    2013-05-15

    Extraction of natural gas from tight shale formations has been made possible by recent technological advances, including hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling. Global shale gas development is seen as a potential energy and geopolitical "game-changer." However, widespread concern exists with respect to possible environmental consequences of this development, particularly impacts on water resources. In the United States, where the most shale gas extraction has occurred, the Marcellus Shale is now the largest natural gas producing play. To date, over 6,000,000 m(3) of wastewater has been generated in the process of extracting natural gas from this shale in the state of Pennsylvania (PA) alone. Here we examine wastewater management practices and trends for this shale play through analysis of industry-reported, publicly available data collected from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Oil and Gas Reporting Website. We also analyze the tracking and transport of shale gas liquid waste streams originating in PA using a combination of web-based and GIS approaches. From 2008 to 2011 wastewater reuse increased, POTW use decreased, and data tracking became more complete, while the average distance traveled by wastewater decreased by over 30%. Likely factors influencing these trends include state regulations and policies, along with low natural gas prices. Regional differences in wastewater management are influenced by industrial treatment capacity, as well as proximity to injection disposal capacity. Using lessons from the Marcellus Shale, we suggest that nations, states, and regulatory agencies facing new unconventional shale development recognize that pace and scale of well drilling leads to commensurate wastewater management challenges. We also suggest they implement wastewater reporting and tracking systems, articulate a policy for adapting management to evolving data and development patterns, assess local and regional wastewater treatment

  11. Pore Pressure prediction in shale gas reservoirs using neural network and fuzzy logic with an application to Barnett Shale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliouane, Leila; Ouadfeul, Sid-Ali; Boudella, Amar

    2015-04-01

    The main goal of the proposed idea is to use the artificial intelligence such as the neural network and fuzzy logic to predict the pore pressure in shale gas reservoirs. Pore pressure is a very important parameter that will be used or estimation of effective stress. This last is used to resolve well-bore stability problems, failure plan identification from Mohr-Coulomb circle and sweet spots identification. Many models have been proposed to estimate the pore pressure from well-logs data; we can cite for example the equivalent depth model, the horizontal model for undercompaction called the Eaton's model…etc. All these models require a continuous measurement of the slowness of the primary wave, some thing that is not easy during well-logs data acquisition in shale gas formtions. Here, we suggest the use the fuzzy logic and the multilayer perceptron neural network to predict the pore pressure in two horizontal wells drilled in the lower Barnett shale formation. The first horizontal well is used for the training of the fuzzy set and the multilayer perecptron, the input is the natural gamma ray, the neutron porosity, the slowness of the compression and shear wave, however the desired output is the estimated pore pressure using Eaton's model. Data of another horizontal well are used for generalization. Obtained results clearly show the power of the fuzzy logic system than the multilayer perceptron neural network machine to predict the pore pressure in shale gas reservoirs. Keywords: artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, pore pressure, multilayer perecptron, Barnett shale.

  12. Shallow seismic investigations of Devonian-shale gas production

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R.T.; Ruotsala, J.E.; Kudla, J.J.; Dunne, W.E.

    1982-06-01

    The foremost conclusion of this study is that fractured Devonian shale gas reservoirs, as exemplified by the Cottageville field, are detectable by seismic reflection methods. Further, the target is not particularly difficult, once the nature of the seismic anomaly is understood. The preferred exploration rationale is based on travel time anomalies related to lowered acoustic velocity within the gas-bearing zone. In the simplest case the travel time anomaly causes an apparent down-warp or sag in a flat-lying reflector. This conclusion is developed in Parts B and C of this report. Concerning the high-resolution extension of the seismic method, which is the subject of Part A, there are essentially two separate conclusions which can be drawn. One is that additional, valuable subsurface information can be obtained by recording seismic data at frequenies higher than those in common use by the petroleum industry at the time of this writing. The other is that it is feasible to obtain seismic reflection data on a smaller scale, using less costly instrumentation, than is typically employed in the petroleum industry. However, it is not yet possible to say whether such small scale surveying will be practical from an industry point of view.

  13. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater consumption of Marcellus shale gas.

    PubMed

    Laurenzi, Ian J; Jersey, Gilbert R

    2013-05-07

    We present results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) of Marcellus shale gas used for power generation. The analysis employs the most extensive data set of any LCA of shale gas to date, encompassing data from actual gas production and power generation operations. Results indicate that a typical Marcellus gas life cycle yields 466 kg CO2eq/MWh (80% confidence interval: 450-567 kg CO2eq/MWh) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 224 gal/MWh (80% CI: 185-305 gal/MWh) of freshwater consumption. Operations associated with hydraulic fracturing constitute only 1.2% of the life cycle GHG emissions, and 6.2% of the life cycle freshwater consumption. These results are influenced most strongly by the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of the well and the power plant efficiency: increase in either quantity will reduce both life cycle freshwater consumption and GHG emissions relative to power generated at the plant. We conclude by comparing the life cycle impacts of Marcellus gas and U.S. coal: The carbon footprint of Marcellus gas is 53% (80% CI: 44-61%) lower than coal, and its freshwater consumption is about 50% of coal. We conclude that substantial GHG reductions and freshwater savings may result from the replacement of coal-fired power generation with gas-fired power generation.

  14. Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Reaction with Shale in Experiments at Unconventional Gas Reservoir Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paukert, A. N.; Hakala, A.; Jarvis, K. B.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the marked increase in hydraulic fracturing for unconventional natural gas production over the past decade, reactions between hydraulic fracturing fluids (HFF) and shale reservoirs remain poorly reported in the scientific literature. Shale-HFF interaction could cause mineral dissolution, releasing matter from the shale, or mineral precipitation that degrades reservoir permeability. Furthermore, data are limited on whether scale inhibitors are effective at preventing mineral precipitation and whether these inhibitors adversely affect reservoir fluid chemistry and permeability. To investigate HFF-rock interaction within shale reservoirs, we conducted flow-through experiments exposing Marcellus Shale to synthetic HFF at reservoir conditions (66oC, 20MPa). Outcrop shale samples were cored, artificially fractured, and propped open with quartz sand. Synthetic HFFs were mixed with chemical additives similar to those used for Marcellus Shale gas wells in Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania (FracFocus.org). We evaluated differences between shale reactions with HFF made from natural freshwater and reactions with HFF made from synthetic produced water (designed to simulate produced water that is diluted and re-used for subsequent hydraulic fracturing). We also compared reactions with HFFs including hydrochloric acid (HCl) to represent the initial acid stage, and HFFs excluding HCl. Reactions were determined through changes in fluid chemistry and X-ray CT and SEM imaging of the shale before and after experiments. Results from experiments with HFF containing HCl showed dissolution of primary calcite, as expected. Experiments using HFF made from synthetic produced water had significant mineral precipitation, particularly of barium and calcium sulfates. X-ray CT images from these experiments indicate precipitation of minerals occurred either along the main fracture or within smaller splay fractures, depending on fluid composition. These experiments suggest that HFF

  15. Chemical characterization of gas- and oil-bearing shales by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frost, J.K.; Koszykowski, R.F.; Klemm, R.C.

    1982-01-01

    The concentration of As, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cs, Dy, Eu, Fe, Ga, Hf, K, La, Lu, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, Sm, Sr, Ta, Tb, Th, U, Yb, and Zn were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis in block shale samples of the New Albany Group (Devonian-Mississippian) in the in the Illinois Basin. Uranium content of the samples was as high as 75 ppm and interfered in the determination of samarium, molybdenum, barium and cerium. In the determination of selenium a correction was made for interference from tantalum. U, As, Co, Mo, Ni and Sb as well as Cu, V and pyritic sulphur which were determined by other methods, were found to correlate positively with the organic carbon content of the samples. ?? 1982 Akade??miai Kiado??.

  16. Can Switching from Coal to Shale Gas Bring Net Carbon Reductions to China?

    PubMed

    Qin, Yue; Edwards, Ryan; Tong, Fan; Mauzerall, Denise L

    2017-03-07

    To increase energy security and reduce emissions of air pollutants and CO2 from coal use, China is attempting to duplicate the rapid development of shale gas that has taken place in the United States. This work builds a framework to estimate the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from China's shale gas system and compares them with GHG emissions from coal used in the power, residential, and industrial sectors. We find the mean lifecycle carbon footprint of shale gas is about 30-50% lower than that of coal in all sectors under both 20 year and 100 year global warming potentials (GWP20 and GWP100). However, primarily due to large uncertainties in methane leakage, the upper bound estimate of the lifecycle carbon footprint of shale gas in China could be approximately 15-60% higher than that of coal across sectors under GWP20. To ensure net GHG emission reductions when switching from coal to shale gas, we estimate the breakeven methane leakage rates to be approximately 6.0%, 7.7%, and 4.2% in the power, residential, and industrial sectors, respectively, under GWP20. We find shale gas in China has a good chance of delivering air quality and climate cobenefits, particularly when used in the residential sector, with proper methane leakage control.

  17. Assessment of Paleozoic shale gas resources in the Sichuan Basin of China, 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Potter, Christopher J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Klett, Timothy R.; Leathers, Heidi M.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Pitman, Janet K.

    2015-10-14

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 23.9 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources in Paleozoic formations in the Sichuan Basin of China.

  18. Sedimentology of gas-bearing Devonian shales of the Appalachian Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Potter, P.E.; Maynard, J.B.; Pryor, W.A.

    1981-01-01

    The Eastern Gas Shales Project (1976-1981) of the US DOE has generated a large amount of information on Devonian shale, especially in the western and central parts of the Appalachian Basin (Morgantown Energy Technology Center, 1980). This report summarizes this information, emphasizing the sedimentology of the shales and how it is related to gas, oil, and uranium. This information is reported in a series of statements each followed by a brief summary of supporting evidence or discussion and, where interpretations differ from our own, we include them. We believe this format is the most efficient way to learn about the gas-bearing Devonian shales of the Appalachian Basin and have organized our statements as follows: paleogeography and basin analysis; lithology and internal stratigraphy; paleontology; mineralogy, petrology, and chemistry; and gas, oil, and uranium.

  19. Assessment of shale-gas resources of the Karoo Province, South Africa and Lesotho, Africa, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brownfield, Michael E.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Klett, Timothy R.; Pitman, Janet K.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Finn, Thomas M.

    2016-07-08

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resource of 44.5 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the Karoo Province of South Africa and Lesotho, Africa.

  20. Modeling of fault reactivation and induced seismicity during hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have conducted numerical simulation studies to assess the potential for injection-induced fault reactivation and notable seismic events associated with shale-gas hydraulic fracturing operations. The modeling is generally tuned toward conditions usually encountered in the Marce...

  1. Understanding gas shales using inorganic, ternary geochemical systematics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Sudeshna; Jones, Adrian; Verchovsky, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    We have developed a new approach of simultaneous analyses of carbon, nitrogen and noble gases, for isotopic and elemental compositions in bulk shales from different depths (11785 to 11909 feet) of a core from the Haynesville Bossier formation to decouple the different trapped components. This is preceded by major, minor and trace elemental analyses to understand their paleo productivity, tectonic and redox conditions of deposition as well as constraining their alteration and weathering. 5 to 10 mg of samples have been combusted from 200-1200°C in incremental steps of 100°C. Based on δ13C, we identify both marine+lacustrine (δ13C ~ -25 ‰, C/N ~ 5) and minor continental organic matter (δ13C ~ -27 ‰, C/N ~ 60) in the samples, in agreement with observations from elemental compositions. Extremely depleted δ13C of ≤ -34 ‰ in some temperature steps, can be attributed to methanogenesis. Two carbonate populations, primary (δ13C ~ 0 to 2 ‰) and diagenetic (δ13C ~ -13 to -11 ‰) can also be identified. We have been able to identify the multiple C components present in the samples, including very minor ones, without resorting to acid treatment. The bulk N δ15N values vary from -1.2to +6.4 ‰, but show a wide range from -15 to 15 ‰ within individual steps. By suitable modelling, we constrain the primary δ15N to be 5 to 8 ‰, identifiable in very high temperature steps of heating. This is possible if there is penetration of hot fluids that eliminates organic N along a reaction front leaving it fractionated, but leaves behind an unreacted core of residual nitrogen unaffected by isotopic fractionation (Boudou et al., 2008). Our study indicates that using bulk N values as primary signatures to constrain the redox conditions of deposition or thermal maturity of shales as is the practice, should be done with caution. Simultaneously obtained noble gases were used to constrain gas retention in the samples. Deviations of measured 4He/40Ar* (where 40Ar

  2. Life cycle carbon footprint of shale gas: review of evidence and implications.

    PubMed

    Weber, Christopher L; Clavin, Christopher

    2012-06-05

    The recent increase in the production of natural gas from shale deposits has significantly changed energy outlooks in both the US and world. Shale gas may have important climate benefits if it displaces more carbon-intensive oil or coal, but recent attention has discussed the potential for upstream methane emissions to counteract this reduced combustion greenhouse gas emissions. We examine six recent studies to produce a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis of the carbon footprint of both shale and conventional natural gas production. The results show that the most likely upstream carbon footprints of these types of natural gas production are largely similar, with overlapping 95% uncertainty ranges of 11.0-21.0 g CO(2)e/MJ(LHV) for shale gas and 12.4-19.5 g CO(2)e/MJ(LHV) for conventional gas. However, because this upstream footprint represents less than 25% of the total carbon footprint of gas, the efficiency of producing heat, electricity, transportation services, or other function is of equal or greater importance when identifying emission reduction opportunities. Better data are needed to reduce the uncertainty in natural gas's carbon footprint, but understanding system-level climate impacts of shale gas, through shifts in national and global energy markets, may be more important and requires more detailed energy and economic systems assessments.

  3. The Importance of Public Health Agency Independence: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Public health often deals with inconvenient truths. These are best communicated and acted on when public health agencies are independent of the organizations or individuals for whom the truths are inconvenient. The importance of public health independence is exemplified by the lack of involvement of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in responding to health concerns about shale gas drilling. Pennsylvania Department of Health involvement has been forestalled by the state governor, who has intensely supported shale gas development. PMID:24328620

  4. The importance of public health agency independence: Marcellus shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Bernard D

    2014-02-01

    Public health often deals with inconvenient truths. These are best communicated and acted on when public health agencies are independent of the organizations or individuals for whom the truths are inconvenient. The importance of public health independence is exemplified by the lack of involvement of the Pennsylvania Department of Health in responding to health concerns about shale gas drilling. Pennsylvania Department of Health involvement has been forestalled by the state governor, who has intensely supported shale gas development.

  5. Interdisciplinary Investigation of CO2 Sequestration in Depleted Shale Gas Formations

    SciTech Connect

    Zoback, Mark D.; Kovscek, Anthony R.; Wilcox, Jennifer

    2013-09-30

    This project investigates the feasibility of geologic sequestration of CO2 in depleted shale gas reservoirs from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. It is anticipated that over the next two decades, tens of thousands of wells will be drilled in the 23 states in which organic-rich shale gas deposits are found. This research investigates the feasibility of using these formations for sequestration. If feasible, the number of sites where CO2 can be sequestered increases dramatically. The research embraces a broad array of length scales ranging from the ~10 nanometer scale of the pores in the shale formations to reservoir scale through a series of integrated laboratory and theoretical studies.

  6. Risks to Water Resources from Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vengosh, Avner; Jackson, Robert B.; Warner, Nathaniel; Darrah, Thomas H.; Kondash, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    The rise of shale gas development through horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing has expanded oil and gas exploration in the USA. The rapid rate of shale gas exploration has triggered an intense public debate regarding the potential environmental and human health effects. A review of the updated literature has identified four potential risks for impacts on water resources: (1) stray gas contamination of shallow aquifers near shale gas sites; (2) contamination of surface water and shallow groundwater from spills, leaks, and disposal of inadequately treated wastewater or hydraulic fracturing fluids; (3) accumulation of toxic and radioactive residues in soil or stream sediments near disposal or spill sites; and (4) over-extraction of water resources for drilling and hydraulic fracturing that could induce water shortages and conflicts with other water users, particularly in water-scarce areas. As part of a long-term research on the potential water contamination associated with shale gas development, new geochemical and isotopic techniques have been developed for delineating the origin of gases and contaminants in water resource. In particular, multiple geochemical and isotopic (carbon isotopes in hydrocarbons, noble gas, strontium, boron, radium isotopes) tracers have been utilized to distinguish between naturally occurring dissolved gas and salts in water and contamination directly induced from shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.

  7. Assessment and Design of Water Quality Monitoring Networks with respect to Shale Gas Activities in Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arjmand, S.; Abad, J. D.; Brantley, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past few years, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques have been extensively used to extract shale gas from the Marcellus Shale. Likewise, several environmental violations that have been repeatedly reported in drilling sites have created greater awareness on potentially adverse environmental impacts of shale gas. Long-term monitoring in the Marcellus Shale is the key to maintain and improve the quality of water supplies in future. Currently, the absence of an efficient water quality monitoring network prevents the detection and source identification of contaminants associated with shale gas activities. Evaluation and re-design of monitoring networks from time to time is a major step towards efficient water resources planning and management. In this study, we assessed the performance of the current water quality monitoring network with respect to the shale gas development in Pennsylvania. For better evaluation, the Oil and Gas Compliance Report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection between January 2005 and May 2013 was compiled. Using statistical and GIS methods each violation item was examined against the number and location of sensors in the current monitoring network. The results helped identify the adequacy of the number of sensors to detect the potential contamination. Moreover, to improve the performance and to lower the long-term monitoring costs, we re-designed the network using optimization methods. This optimal system maximizes the understanding of the aquifer condition and investigates the shale gas industry impacts on shallow aquifers, and it is applicable to other watersheds with shale oil and gas drilling activities.

  8. Appraisal of transport and deformation in shale reservoirs using natural noble gas tracers

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, Jason E.; Kuhlman, Kristopher L.; Robinson, David G.; Bauer, Stephen J.; Gardner, William Payton

    2015-09-01

    This report presents efforts to develop the use of in situ naturally-occurring noble gas tracers to evaluate transport mechanisms and deformation in shale hydrocarbon reservoirs. Noble gases are promising as shale reservoir diagnostic tools due to their sensitivity of transport to: shale pore structure; phase partitioning between groundwater, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons; and deformation from hydraulic fracturing. Approximately 1.5-year time-series of wellhead fluid samples were collected from two hydraulically-fractured wells. The noble gas compositions and isotopes suggest a strong signature of atmospheric contribution to the noble gases that mix with deep, old reservoir fluids. Complex mixing and transport of fracturing fluid and reservoir fluids occurs during production. Real-time laboratory measurements were performed on triaxially-deforming shale samples to link deformation behavior, transport, and gas tracer signatures. Finally, we present improved methods for production forecasts that borrow statistical strength from production data of nearby wells to reduce uncertainty in the forecasts.

  9. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Mississippian Sunbury shale and Devonian–Mississippian Chattanooga shale in the Appalachian Basin Province, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higley, Debra K.; Rouse, William A.; Enomoto, Catherine B.; Trippi, Michael H.; Klett, Timothy R.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Drake, Ronald M.; Finn, Thomas M.; Gianoutsos, Nicholas J.; Pearson, Ofori N.; Doolan, Colin; Le, Phuong A.; Schenk, Christopher J.

    2016-11-08

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated mean undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources that total 464 million barrels of oil and 4.08 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Lower Mississippian Sunbury Shale and Middle Devonian–Lower Mississippian Chattanooga Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province.

  10. Autogenic gas (self sourced) from shales - an example from the Appalachian Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Milici, R.C. )

    1993-01-01

    Black gas shales of Devonian and Mississippian age occur over much of the Appalachian basin, extending from eastern Tennessee north- and northeastward into Ohio and New York. In general, these shales were deposited along the distal margin of the Acadian Catskill delta in response to episodes of tectonic subsidence and regional transgression during the Acadian orogeny. A major trend of high organic carbon content in the black shales extends along the western side of the Catskill delta, from southwestern Virginia to the southern shores of Lake Erie. The high content of organic detritus in these Devonian and Mississippian black-shale source beds is probably related to high organic productivity in combination with moderate sedimentation rates along the distal margins of the Catskill delta. In general, organic matter in the black shales is more marine and oil prone on the western side of the basin, away from the major sources of siliciclastic input, than it is to the east. Thermal maturity trends follow depositional strike and isopachs of the Catskill delta and, thus, are related to depth of burial. Fracture porosity within the black shale sequence appears to have been affected mostly by regional decollement within discrete stratigraphic units that were, perhaps, overpressured during deformation. Shale gas is produced from relatively large fields in southwestern Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwestern West Virginia, and southernmost Ohio. To the north, the strata rich in organic matter are thermally immature, and fields along the southern shores of lake Erie in Ohio and Pennsylvania are only marginally productive. To the east in northwestern West Virginia, the organic content of the shales is diluted by increased amounts of siliciclastics; organic matter is not sufficient to sustain long-term gas production, and shale-gas wells are short lived. 79 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Mixed integer simulation optimization for optimal hydraulic fracturing and production of shale gas fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J. C.; Gong, B.; Wang, H. G.

    2016-08-01

    Optimal development of shale gas fields involves designing a most productive fracturing network for hydraulic stimulation processes and operating wells appropriately throughout the production time. A hydraulic fracturing network design-determining well placement, number of fracturing stages, and fracture lengths-is defined by specifying a set of integer ordered blocks to drill wells and create fractures in a discrete shale gas reservoir model. The well control variables such as bottom hole pressures or production rates for well operations are real valued. Shale gas development problems, therefore, can be mathematically formulated with mixed-integer optimization models. A shale gas reservoir simulator is used to evaluate the production performance for a hydraulic fracturing and well control plan. To find the optimal fracturing design and well operation is challenging because the problem is a mixed integer optimization problem and entails computationally expensive reservoir simulation. A dynamic simplex interpolation-based alternate subspace (DSIAS) search method is applied for mixed integer optimization problems associated with shale gas development projects. The optimization performance is demonstrated with the example case of the development of the Barnett Shale field. The optimization results of DSIAS are compared with those of a pattern search algorithm.

  12. Searching for anomalous methane in shallow groundwater near shale gas wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhenhui; You, Cheng; Gonzales, Matthew; Wendt, Anna K.; Wu, Fei; Brantley, Susan L.

    2016-12-01

    Since the 1800s, natural gas has been extracted from wells drilled into conventional reservoirs. Today, gas is also extracted from shale using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF). These wells sometimes leak methane and must be re-sealed with cement. Some researchers argue that methane concentrations, C, increase in groundwater near shale-gas wells and that "fracked" wells leak more than conventional wells. We developed techniques to mine datasets of groundwater chemistry in Pennsylvania townships where contamination had been reported. Values of C measured in shallow private water wells were discovered to increase with proximity to faults and to conventional, but not shale-gas, wells in the entire area. However, in small subareas, C increased with proximity to some shale-gas wells. Data mining was used to map a few hotspots where C significantly correlates with distance to faults and gas wells. Near the hotspots, 3 out of 132 shale-gas wells ( 2%) and 4 out of 15 conventional wells (27%) intersect faults at depths where they are reported to be uncased or uncemented. These results demonstrate that even though these data techniques do not establish causation, they can elucidate the controls on natural methane emission along faults and may have implications for gas well construction.

  13. Searching for anomalous methane in shallow groundwater near shale gas wells.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhenhui; You, Cheng; Gonzales, Matthew; Wendt, Anna K; Wu, Fei; Brantley, Susan L

    2016-12-01

    Since the 1800s, natural gas has been extracted from wells drilled into conventional reservoirs. Today, gas is also extracted from shale using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF). These wells sometimes leak methane and must be re-sealed with cement. Some researchers argue that methane concentrations, C, increase in groundwater near shale-gas wells and that "fracked" wells leak more than conventional wells. We developed techniques to mine datasets of groundwater chemistry in Pennsylvania townships where contamination had been reported. Values of C measured in shallow private water wells were discovered to increase with proximity to faults and to conventional, but not shale-gas, wells in the entire area. However, in small subareas, C increased with proximity to some shale-gas wells. Data mining was used to map a few hotspots where C significantly correlates with distance to faults and gas wells. Near the hotspots, 3 out of 132 shale-gas wells (~2%) and 4 out of 15 conventional wells (27%) intersect faults at depths where they are reported to be uncased or uncemented. These results demonstrate that even though these data techniques do not establish causation, they can elucidate the controls on natural methane emission along faults and may have implications for gas well construction.

  14. Modeling the Relative GHG Emissions of Conventional and Shale Gas Production

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Recent reports show growing reserves of unconventional gas are available and that there is an appetite from policy makers, industry, and others to better understand the GHG impact of exploiting reserves such as shale gas. There is little publicly available data comparing unconventional and conventional gas production. Existing studies rely on national inventories, but it is not generally possible to separate emissions from unconventional and conventional sources within these totals. Even if unconventional and conventional sites had been listed separately, it would not be possible to eliminate site-specific factors to compare gas production methods on an equal footing. To address this difficulty, the emissions of gas production have instead been modeled. In this way, parameters common to both methods of production can be held constant, while allowing those parameters which differentiate unconventional gas and conventional gas production to vary. The results are placed into the context of power generation, to give a ″well-to-wire″ (WtW) intensity. It was estimated that shale gas typically has a WtW emissions intensity about 1.8–2.4% higher than conventional gas, arising mainly from higher methane releases in well completion. Even using extreme assumptions, it was found that WtW emissions from shale gas need be no more than 15% higher than conventional gas if flaring or recovery measures are used. In all cases considered, the WtW emissions of shale gas powergen are significantly lower than those of coal. PMID:22085088

  15. The Relationship between Marcellus Shale Gas Development in Pennsylvania and Local Perceptions of Risk and Opportunity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafft, Kai A.; Borlu, Yetkin; Glenna, Leland

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in gas and oil drilling technology have led to dramatic boomtown development in many rural areas that have endured extended periods of economic decline. In Pennsylvania's Marcellus gas fields, the recent development of unconventional shale gas resources has not been without controversy. It has been variously framed as a major…

  16. Modeling the relative GHG emissions of conventional and shale gas production.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Trevor; Valle, Jose Eduardo; Riera-Palou, Xavier

    2011-12-15

    Recent reports show growing reserves of unconventional gas are available and that there is an appetite from policy makers, industry, and others to better understand the GHG impact of exploiting reserves such as shale gas. There is little publicly available data comparing unconventional and conventional gas production. Existing studies rely on national inventories, but it is not generally possible to separate emissions from unconventional and conventional sources within these totals. Even if unconventional and conventional sites had been listed separately, it would not be possible to eliminate site-specific factors to compare gas production methods on an equal footing. To address this difficulty, the emissions of gas production have instead been modeled. In this way, parameters common to both methods of production can be held constant, while allowing those parameters which differentiate unconventional gas and conventional gas production to vary. The results are placed into the context of power generation, to give a ″well-to-wire″ (WtW) intensity. It was estimated that shale gas typically has a WtW emissions intensity about 1.8-2.4% higher than conventional gas, arising mainly from higher methane releases in well completion. Even using extreme assumptions, it was found that WtW emissions from shale gas need be no more than 15% higher than conventional gas if flaring or recovery measures are used. In all cases considered, the WtW emissions of shale gas powergen are significantly lower than those of coal.

  17. 18 CFR 270.303 - Natural gas produced from Devonian shale.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Natural gas produced... DETERMINATION PROCEDURES Requirements for Filings With Jurisdictional Agencies § 270.303 Natural gas produced from Devonian shale. A person seeking a determination that natural gas is produced from Devonian...

  18. 18 CFR 270.303 - Natural gas produced from Devonian shale.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Natural gas produced... DETERMINATION PROCEDURES Requirements for Filings With Jurisdictional Agencies § 270.303 Natural gas produced from Devonian shale. A person seeking a determination that natural gas is produced from Devonian...

  19. 18 CFR 270.303 - Natural gas produced from Devonian shale.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Natural gas produced... DETERMINATION PROCEDURES Requirements for Filings With Jurisdictional Agencies § 270.303 Natural gas produced from Devonian shale. A person seeking a determination that natural gas is produced from Devonian...

  20. 18 CFR 270.303 - Natural gas produced from Devonian shale.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Natural gas produced... DETERMINATION PROCEDURES Requirements for Filings With Jurisdictional Agencies § 270.303 Natural gas produced from Devonian shale. A person seeking a determination that natural gas is produced from Devonian...

  1. 18 CFR 270.303 - Natural gas produced from Devonian shale.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 18 Conservation of Power and Water Resources 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Natural gas produced... DETERMINATION PROCEDURES Requirements for Filings With Jurisdictional Agencies § 270.303 Natural gas produced from Devonian shale. A person seeking a determination that natural gas is produced from Devonian...

  2. Statistical evaluation of the impact of shale gas activities on ozone pollution in North Texas.

    PubMed

    Ahmadi, Mahdi; John, Kuruvilla

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade, substantial growth in shale gas exploration and production across the US has changed the country's energy outlook. Beyond its economic benefits, the negative impacts of shale gas development on air and water are less well known. In this study the relationship between shale gas activities and ground-level ozone pollution was statistically evaluated. The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area in north-central Texas was selected as the study region. The Barnett Shale, which is one the most productive and fastest growing shale gas fields in the US, is located in the western half of DFW. Hourly meteorological and ozone data were acquired for fourteen years from monitoring stations established and operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The area was divided into two regions, the shale gas region (SGR) and the non-shale gas (NSGR) region, according to the number of gas wells in close proximity to each monitoring site. The study period was also divided into 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 because the western half of DFW has experienced significant growth in shale gas activities since 2007. An evaluation of the raw ozone data showed that, while the overall trend in the ozone concentration was down over the entire region, the monitoring sites in the NSGR showed an additional reduction of 4% in the annual number of ozone exceedance days than those in the SGR. Directional analysis of ozone showed that the winds blowing from areas with high shale gas activities contributed to higher ozone downwind. KZ-filtering method and linear regression techniques were used to remove the effects of meteorological variations on ozone and to construct long-term and short-term meteorologically adjusted (M.A.) ozone time series. The mean value of all M.A. ozone components was 8% higher in the sites located within the SGR than in the NSGR. These findings may be useful for understanding the overall impact of shale gas activities on the local and regional ozone

  3. Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP: the scientific perspective in all that hype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübner, A.; Horsfield, B.; Kapp, I.

    2012-04-01

    With the Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences engages in the public discussion of technical and environmental issues related to shale gas exploration and production. Unconventional fossil fuels, already on stream in the USA, and now under rapid development globally, have brought about a fundamental change in energy resource distribution and energy politics. Among these resources, shale gas is currently most discussed, with the public perspective focusing on putative environmental risk rather than on potential benefits. As far as Europe's own shale gas resources are concerned, scientific and technological innovations will play key roles in defining the dimension of future shale gas production, but it is especially the public's perception and level of acceptance that will make or break shale gas in the near-term. However, opinions on environmental risks diverge strongly: risks are minor and controllable according to industry, while environmental groups often claim the opposite. The Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP brings the perspective of science to the discussion on technical and environmental issues related to shale gas exploration and production. SHIP will not only showcase but discuss what is known and what is not yet know about environmental challenges and potential risks. SHIP features current scientific results and best practice approaches and builds on a network of international experts. The project is interactive and aims to spark discussion among all stakeholders. The Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP covers basic information and news on shale gas, but at the heart of SHIP is the Knowledge Base, a collection of scientific reviews from international experts. The articles give an overview on the current state of knowledge on a certain topic including knowledge gaps, and put this into context of past experiences, current best practices, and opinions expressed by different stakeholders. The articles are open

  4. Noble gases in gas shales : Implications for gas retention and circulating fluids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, Sudeshna; Jones, Adrian; Verchovsky, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    Gas shales from three cores of Haynesville-Bossier formation have been analysed simultaneously for carbon, nitrogen and noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Xe) to constrain their source compositions and identify signatures associated with high gas retention. Ten samples from varying depths of 11785 to 12223 feet from each core, retrieved from their centres, have been combusted from 200-1200°C in incremental steps of 100°C, using 5 - 10 mg of each sample. Typically, Xe is released at 200°C and is largely adsorbed, observed in two of the three cores. The third core lacked any measureable Xe. High 40Ar/36Ar ratio up to 8000, is associated with peak release of nitrogen with distinctive isotopic signature, related to breakdown of clay minerals at 500°C. He and Ne are also mostly released at the same temperature step and predominantly hosted in the pore spaces of the organic matter associated with the clay. He may be produced from the uranium related to the organic matter. The enrichment factors of noble gases defined as (iX/36Ar)sample/(iX/36Ar)air where iX denotes any noble gas isotope, show Ne and Xe enrichment observed commonly in sedimentary rocks including shales (Podosek et al., 1980; Bernatowicz et al., 1984). This can be related to interaction of the shales with circulating fluids and diffusive separation of gases (Torgersen and Kennedy, 1999), implying the possibility of loss of gases from these shales. Interaction with circulating fluids (e.g. crustal fluids) have been further confirmed using 20Ne/N2, 36Ar/N2 and 4He/N2 ratios. Deviations of measured 4He/40Ar* (where 40Ar* represents radiogenic 40Ar after correcting for contribution from atmospheric Ar) from expected values has been used to monitor gas loss by degassing. Bernatowicz, T., Podosek, F.A., Honda, M., Kramer, F.E., 1984. The Atmospheric Inventory of Xenon and Noble Gases in Shales: The Plastic Bag Experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research 89, 4597-4611. Podosek, F.A., Honda, M., Ozima, M., 1980

  5. New insights on the Karoo shale gas potential from borehole KZF-1 (Western Cape, South Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Stuart A.; Götz, Annette E.; Montenari, Michael

    2016-04-01

    A study on world shale reserves conducted by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) in 2013 concluded that there could be as much as 390 Tcf recoverable reserves of shale gas in the southern and south-western parts of the Karoo Basin. This would make it the 8th-largest shale gas resource in the world. However, the true extent and commercial viability is still unknown, due to the lack of exploration drilling and modern 3D seismic. Within the framework of the Karoo Research Initiative (KARIN), two deep boreholes were drilled in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Here we report on new core material from borehole KZF-1 (Western Cape) which intersected the Permian black shales of the Ecca Group, the Whitehill Formation being the main target formation for future shale gas production. To determine the original source potential for shale gas we investigated the sedimentary environments in which the potential source rocks formed, addressing the research question of how much sedimentary organic matter the shales contained when they originally formed. Palynofacies indicates marginal marine conditions of a stratified basin setting with low marine phytoplankton percentages (acritarchs, prasinophytes), good AOM preservation, high terrestrial input, and a high spores:bisaccates ratio (kerogen type III). Stratigraphically, a deepening-upward trend is observed. Laterally, the basin configuration seems to be much more complex than previously assumed. Furthermore, palynological data confirms the correlation of marine black shales of the Prince Albert and Whitehill formations in the southern and south-western parts of the Karoo Basin with the terrestrial coals of the Vryheid Formation in the north-eastern part of the basin. TOC values (1-6%) classify the Karoo black shales as promising shale gas resources, especially with regard to the high thermal maturity (Ro >3). The recently drilled deep boreholes in the southern and south-western Karoo Basin, the first since the

  6. Micro/Nano-pore Network Analysis of Gas Flow in Shale Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Pengwei; Hu, Liming; Meegoda, Jay N.; Gao, Shengyan

    2015-01-01

    The gas flow in shale matrix is of great research interests for optimized shale gas extraction. The gas flow in the nano-scale pore may fall in flow regimes such as viscous flow, slip flow and Knudsen diffusion. A 3-dimensional nano-scale pore network model was developed to simulate dynamic gas flow, and to describe the transient properties of flow regimes. The proposed pore network model accounts for the various size distributions and low connectivity of shale pores. The pore size, pore throat size and coordination number obey normal distribution, and the average values can be obtained from shale reservoir data. The gas flow regimes were simulated using an extracted pore network backbone. The numerical results show that apparent permeability is strongly dependent on pore pressure in the reservoir and pore throat size, which is overestimated by low-pressure laboratory tests. With the decrease of reservoir pressure, viscous flow is weakening, then slip flow and Knudsen diffusion are gradually becoming dominant flow regimes. The fingering phenomenon can be predicted by micro/nano-pore network for gas flow, which provides an effective way to capture heterogeneity of shale gas reservoir. PMID:26310236

  7. Micro/Nano-pore Network Analysis of Gas Flow in Shale Matrix.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pengwei; Hu, Liming; Meegoda, Jay N; Gao, Shengyan

    2015-08-27

    The gas flow in shale matrix is of great research interests for optimized shale gas extraction. The gas flow in the nano-scale pore may fall in flow regimes such as viscous flow, slip flow and Knudsen diffusion. A 3-dimensional nano-scale pore network model was developed to simulate dynamic gas flow, and to describe the transient properties of flow regimes. The proposed pore network model accounts for the various size distributions and low connectivity of shale pores. The pore size, pore throat size and coordination number obey normal distribution, and the average values can be obtained from shale reservoir data. The gas flow regimes were simulated using an extracted pore network backbone. The numerical results show that apparent permeability is strongly dependent on pore pressure in the reservoir and pore throat size, which is overestimated by low-pressure laboratory tests. With the decrease of reservoir pressure, viscous flow is weakening, then slip flow and Knudsen diffusion are gradually becoming dominant flow regimes. The fingering phenomenon can be predicted by micro/nano-pore network for gas flow, which provides an effective way to capture heterogeneity of shale gas reservoir.

  8. On the possibility of magnetic nano-markers use for hydraulic fracturing in shale gas mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zawadzki, Jaroslaw; Bogacki, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Recently shale gas production became essential for the global economy, thanks to fast advances in shale fracturing technology. Shale gas extraction can be achieved by drilling techniques coupled with hydraulic fracturing. Further increasing of shale gas production is possible by improving the efficiency of hydraulic fracturing and assessing the spatial distribution of fractures in shale deposits. The latter can be achieved by adding magnetic markers to fracturing fluid or directly to proppant, which keeps the fracture pathways open. After that, the range of hydraulic fracturing can be assessed by measurement of vertical and horizontal component of earth's magnetic field before and after fracturing. The difference in these components caused by the presence of magnetic marker particles may allow to delineate spatial distribution of fractures. Due to the fact, that subterranean geological formations may contain minerals with significant magnetic properties, it is important to provide to the markers excellent magnetic properties which should be also, independent of harsh chemical and geological conditions. On the other hand it is of great significance to produce magnetic markers at an affordable price because of the large quantities of fracturing fluids or proppants used during shale fracturing. Examining the properties of nano-materials, it was found, that they possess clearly superior magnetic properties, as compared to the same structure but having a larger particle size. It should be then possible, to use lower amount of magnetic marker, to obtain the same effect. Although a research on properties of new magnetic nano-materials is very intensive, cheap magnetic nano-materials are not yet produced on a scale appropriate for shale gas mining. In this work we overview, in detail, geological, technological and economic aspects of using magnetic nano-markers in shale gas mining. Acknowledgment This work was supported by the NCBiR under Grant "Electromagnetic method to

  9. Modelling the deployment of CO₂ storage in U.S. gas-bearing shales

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, Casie L.; Dahowski, Robert T.; Dooley, James J.; McGrail, B. Peter

    2014-12-31

    The proliferation of commercial development in U.S. gas-bearing shales helped to drive a twelve-fold increase in domestic gas production between 2000 and 2010, and the nation's gas production rates continue to grow. While shales have long been regarded as a desirable caprock for CCS operations because of their low permeability and porosity, there is increasing interest in the feasibility of injecting CO₂ into shales to enhance methane recovery and augment CO₂ storage. Laboratory work published in recent years observes that shales with adsorbed methane appear to exhibit a stronger affinity for CO₂ adsorption, offering the potential to drive additional CH₄ recovery beyond primary production and perhaps the potential to store a larger volume of CO₂ than the volume of methane displaced. Recent research by the authors on the revenues associated with CO₂-enhanced gas recovery (CO₂-EGR) in gas-bearing shales estimates that, based on a range of EGR response rates, the average revenue per ton of CO₂ for projects managed over both EGR and subsequent storage-only phases could range from $0.50 to $18/tCO₂. While perhaps not as profitable as EOR, for regions where lower-cost storage options may be limited, shales could represent another “early opportunity” storage option if proven feasible for reliable EGR and CO₂ storage. Significant storage potential exists in gas shales, with theoretical CO₂ storage resources estimated at approximately 30-50 GtCO₂. However, an analysis of the comprehensive cost competitiveness of these various options is necessary to understand the degree to which they might meaningfully impact U.S. CCS deployment or costs. This preliminary analysis shows that the degree to which EGR-based CO₂ storage could play a role in commercial-scale deployment is heavily dependent upon the offsetting revenues associated with incremental recovery; modeling the low revenue case resulted in only five shale-based projects, while under the high

  10. Modelling the deployment of CO₂ storage in U.S. gas-bearing shales

    DOE PAGES

    Davidson, Casie L.; Dahowski, Robert T.; Dooley, James J.; ...

    2014-12-31

    The proliferation of commercial development in U.S. gas-bearing shales helped to drive a twelve-fold increase in domestic gas production between 2000 and 2010, and the nation's gas production rates continue to grow. While shales have long been regarded as a desirable caprock for CCS operations because of their low permeability and porosity, there is increasing interest in the feasibility of injecting CO₂ into shales to enhance methane recovery and augment CO₂ storage. Laboratory work published in recent years observes that shales with adsorbed methane appear to exhibit a stronger affinity for CO₂ adsorption, offering the potential to drive additional CH₄more » recovery beyond primary production and perhaps the potential to store a larger volume of CO₂ than the volume of methane displaced. Recent research by the authors on the revenues associated with CO₂-enhanced gas recovery (CO₂-EGR) in gas-bearing shales estimates that, based on a range of EGR response rates, the average revenue per ton of CO₂ for projects managed over both EGR and subsequent storage-only phases could range from $0.50 to $18/tCO₂. While perhaps not as profitable as EOR, for regions where lower-cost storage options may be limited, shales could represent another “early opportunity” storage option if proven feasible for reliable EGR and CO₂ storage. Significant storage potential exists in gas shales, with theoretical CO₂ storage resources estimated at approximately 30-50 GtCO₂. However, an analysis of the comprehensive cost competitiveness of these various options is necessary to understand the degree to which they might meaningfully impact U.S. CCS deployment or costs. This preliminary analysis shows that the degree to which EGR-based CO₂ storage could play a role in commercial-scale deployment is heavily dependent upon the offsetting revenues associated with incremental recovery; modeling the low revenue case resulted in only five shale-based projects, while under

  11. The Value of Water in Extraction of Natural Gas from the Marcellus Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimsaite, R.; Abdalla, C.; Collins, A.

    2013-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of shale has increased the demand for the essential input of water in natural gas production. Increased utilization of water by the shale gas industry, and the development of water transport and storage related infrastructure suggest that the value of water is increasing where hydraulic fracturing is occurring. Few studies on the value of water in industrial uses exist and, to our knowledge, no studies of water's value in extracting natural gas from shale have been published. Our research aims to fill this knowledge gap by exploring several key dimensions of the value of water used in shale gas development. Our primary focus was to document the costs associated with water acquisition for shale gas extraction in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, two states located in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation with active drilling and extraction underway. This research involved a) gathering data on the sources of and costs associated with water acquisition for shale gas extraction b) comparing unit costs with prices and costs paid by the gas industry users of water; c) determining factors that potentially impact total and per unit costs of water acquisition for the shale gas industry; and d) identifying lessons learned for water managers and policy-makers. The population of interest was all private and public entities selling water to the shale gas industry in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Primary data were collected from phone interviews with water sellers and secondary data were gathered from state regulatory agencies. Contact information was obtained for 40 water sellers in the two states. Considering both states, the average response rate was 49%. Relatively small amounts of water, approximately 11% in West Virginia and 29% in Pennsylvania, were purchased from public water suppliers by the shale gas industry. The price of water reveals information about the value of water. The average price charged to gas companies was 6.00/1000 gallons and 7

  12. The Importance of Geochemical Parameters and Shale Composition on Rock Mechanical Properties of Gas Shale Reservoirs: a Case Study From the Kockatea Shale and Carynginia Formation From the Perth Basin, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labani, Mohammad Mahdi; Rezaee, Reza

    2015-05-01

    Evaluation of the gas shale mechanical properties is very important screening criteria for determining the potential intervals for hydraulic fracturing and as a result in gas shale sweet spot mapping. Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are two controlling mechanical properties that dictate the brittleness of the gas shale layers. These parameters can be determined in the laboratory by testing the rock sample under different conditions (static method) or can be calculated using the well-logging data including sonic and density log data (dynamic method). This study investigates the importance of the shale composition and geochemical parameters on the Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio using log data. The data set of this study is coming from five different wells targeting the Kockatea Shale and Carynginia formation, two potential gas shale formations in the Perth Basin, Western Australia. The results show that converse to the common idea the effect of organic matter quantity and maturity on the rock mechanical properties of the gas shale reservoirs is not so much prominent, while the composition of the rock has an important effect on these properties. Considering the weight percentage of shale composition and organic matter quantity it could be concluded that effect of these parameters on rock mechanical properties is dependent on their weight contribution on the shale matrix. As well as effect of thermal maturity on the shale matrix and consequently on the rock mechanical properties of the shales is dependent on the organic matter content itself; therefore, obviously with a low organic matter content thermal maturity has no prominent effect on the brittleness as well.

  13. Albany v 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    2011-01-14

    The Albany code is a general purpose finite element code for solving partial differential equations (PDEs). Albany is a research code that demonstrates how a PDE code can be built by interfacing many of the open-source software libraries that are released under Sandia's Trilinos project. Part of the mission of Albany is to be a testbed for new Trilinos libraries, to refine their methods, usability, and interfaces. Albany also serves as a demonstration code on how to build an application code against an installed Trilinos project. Because of this, Albany is a desirable starting point for new code development efforts that wish to make heavy use of Trilinos. The physics solved in Albany are currently only very academic problems, such as heat transfer, linear elasticity, and nonlinear elasticity. Albany includes hooks to optimization and uncertainty quantification algorithms, including those in the Dakota toolkit.

  14. The Complex Physical-Chemical Interaction of Fracking Fluids with Gas Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cathles, L. M.; Engelder, T.; Bryndzia, T.

    2014-12-01

    The chemical aspects of hydrofracturing might seem straight forward: Inject a fluid with sand and some chemicals, recover the injected water now contaminated with chemicals from the shale, and produce gas. But there are some complications that turn out to be very interesting. First of all, it is possible to recover only about 20% of the injected water. Secondly, the fresh injected water (1-5 kppm) has been turned into a very saline bine (~200 kppm). It's easy to say the water has just been imbibed into the gas-filled dry shale, like water into a dry sponge, except the organic parts of the shale which host nearly all the porosity are hydrophobic. The shale is strongly oil wet; nevertheless it imbibes water. It's easy to say the water just mixed with water in the shale and became salty, but there is almost no water in the shale, and no salt either. How the water becomes salty begs easy explanation. The talk will quantitatively discuss these issues in light of experiments we have carried out, concluding that powerful capillary and osmotic forces draw fracking water into the shale while making the return waters salty. How this is achieved will certainly tell us something about the fracture network and its connections. The practical implication is that hydrofracture fluids will be locked into the same "permeability jail" that sequestered overpressured gas for over 200 million years. If one wants to dispose of fracking waters, one could probably not choose a safer way to do so that to inject them into a gas shale.

  15. INTEGRATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURE GAS REACTORS WITH IN SITU OIL SHALE RETORTING

    SciTech Connect

    Eric P. Robertson; Michael G. McKellar; Lee O. Nelson

    2011-05-01

    This paper evaluates the integration of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) to an in situ oil shale retort operation producing 7950 m3/D (50,000 bbl/day). The large amount of heat required to pyrolyze the oil shale and produce oil would typically be provided by combustion of fossil fuels, but can also be delivered by an HTGR. Two cases were considered: a base case which includes no nuclear integration, and an HTGR-integrated case.

  16. Determination of maximal amount of minor gases adsorbed in a shale sample by headspace gas chromatography.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Yun; Hu, Hui-Chao; Chai, Xin-Sheng; Pan, Lei; Xiao, Xian-Ming

    2014-02-07

    In this paper, we present a novel method for determining the maximal amount of ethane, a minor gas species, adsorbed in a shale sample. The method is based on the time-dependent release of ethane from shale samples measured by headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC). The study includes a mathematical model for fitting the experimental data, calculating the maximal amount gas adsorbed, and predicting results at other temperatures. The method is a more efficient alternative to the isothermal adsorption method that is in widespread use today.

  17. Unfinished business in the regulation of shale gas production in the United States.

    PubMed

    Centner, Terence J; O'Connell, Laura Kathryn

    2014-04-01

    With increased drilling for natural gas, toxic chemicals used to fracture wells have been introduced into the environment accompanied by allegations of injuries. This article evaluates laws and regulations governing shale gas production to disclose ideas for offering further protection to people and the environment. The aim of the study is to offer state governments ideas for addressing contractual obligations of drilling operators, discerning health risks, disclosing toxic chemicals, and reporting sufficient information to detect problems and enforce regulations. The discussion suggests opportunities for state regulators to become more supportive of public health through greater oversight of shale gas extraction.

  18. Direct Measure of the Dense Methane Phase in Gas Shale Organic Porosity by Neutron Scattering

    DOE PAGES

    Eberle, Aaron P. R.; King, Hubert E.; Ravikovitch, Peter I.; ...

    2016-08-30

    Here, we report the first direct measurements of methane density in shale gas using small-angle neutron scattering. At a constant pressure, the density of methane in the inorganic pores is similar to the gas bulk density of the system conditions. Conversely, the methane density is 2.1 ± 0.2 times greater in the organic mesopores. Furthermore, classical density functional theory calculations show that this excess density in the organic pores persists to elevated temperatures, typical of shale gas reservoir conditions, providing new insight into the hydrocarbon storage mechanisms within these reservoirs.

  19. Forecasting long-term gas production of dewatered coal seams and fractured gas shales

    SciTech Connect

    Spivey, J.P.; Semmelbeck, M.E.

    1995-12-31

    Production decline curves are routinely used by engineers to predict the future performance of oil and gas wells. Because the results of decline curve predictions are used for calculating asset value and estimating future revenue, they are one of the most important tools reservoir engineers use. There are numerous variations on the basic exponential or hyperbolic decline analysis method. Fetkovitch and other have extended the decline curve analysis method to handle gas wells properly and to be able to estimate reservoir properties from the analysis of these data. However, there has been considerable drilling activity in the last 10 years into unconventional reservoirs whose wells do not follow the traditional production decline characteristic shapes. Among these problem reservoirs are coalbed methane and fractured shale reservoirs. A procedure is presented which allows forecasting long range performance of dewatered coal and fractured gas shale reservoirs having nonlinear adsorption isotherms, using constant pressure solutions to the flow equation for slightly compressible liquids. A correlation is presented to show the range of applicability of this procedure.

  20. Impact of Shale Gas Development on Water Resources: A Case Study in Northern Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandecasteele, Ine; Marí Rivero, Inés; Sala, Serenella; Baranzelli, Claudia; Barranco, Ricardo; Batelaan, Okke; Lavalle, Carlo

    2015-06-01

    Shale gas is currently being explored in Europe as an alternative energy source to conventional oil and gas. There is, however, increasing concern about the potential environmental impacts of shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In this study, we focussed on the potential impacts on regional water resources within the Baltic Basin in Poland, both in terms of quantity and quality. The future development of the shale play was modeled for the time period 2015-2030 using the LUISA modeling framework. We formulated two scenarios which took into account the large range in technology and resource requirements, as well as two additional scenarios based on the current legislation and the potential restrictions which could be put in place. According to these scenarios, between 0.03 and 0.86 % of the total water withdrawals for all sectors could be attributed to shale gas exploitation within the study area. A screening-level assessment of the potential impact of the chemicals commonly used in fracking was carried out and showed that due to their wide range of physicochemical properties, these chemicals may pose additional pressure on freshwater ecosystems. The legislation put in place also influenced the resulting environmental impacts of shale gas extraction. Especially important are the protection of vulnerable ground and surface water resources and the promotion of more water-efficient technologies.

  1. Impact of shale gas development on water resources: a case study in northern poland.

    PubMed

    Vandecasteele, Ine; Marí Rivero, Inés; Sala, Serenella; Baranzelli, Claudia; Barranco, Ricardo; Batelaan, Okke; Lavalle, Carlo

    2015-06-01

    Shale gas is currently being explored in Europe as an alternative energy source to conventional oil and gas. There is, however, increasing concern about the potential environmental impacts of shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In this study, we focussed on the potential impacts on regional water resources within the Baltic Basin in Poland, both in terms of quantity and quality. The future development of the shale play was modeled for the time period 2015-2030 using the LUISA modeling framework. We formulated two scenarios which took into account the large range in technology and resource requirements, as well as two additional scenarios based on the current legislation and the potential restrictions which could be put in place. According to these scenarios, between 0.03 and 0.86% of the total water withdrawals for all sectors could be attributed to shale gas exploitation within the study area. A screening-level assessment of the potential impact of the chemicals commonly used in fracking was carried out and showed that due to their wide range of physicochemical properties, these chemicals may pose additional pressure on freshwater ecosystems. The legislation put in place also influenced the resulting environmental impacts of shale gas extraction. Especially important are the protection of vulnerable ground and surface water resources and the promotion of more water-efficient technologies.

  2. Investigation of Controlling Factors Impacting Water Quality in Shale Gas Produced Brine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, W.; Hayes, K. F.; Ellis, B. R.

    2014-12-01

    The recent boom in production of natural gas from unconventional reservoirs has generated a substantial increase in the volume of produced brine that must be properly managed to prevent contamination of fresh water resources. Produced brine, which includes both flowback and formation water, is often highly saline and may contain elevated concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive material and other toxic elements. These characteristics present many challenges with regard to designing effective treatment and disposal strategies for shale gas produced brine. We will present results from a series of batch experiments where crushed samples from two shale formations in the Michigan Basin, the Antrim and Utica-Collingwood shales, were brought into contact with synthetic hydraulic fracturing fluids under in situ temperature and pressure conditions. The Antrim has been an active shale gas play for over three decades, while the Utica-Collingwood formation (a grouped reservoir consisting of the Utica shale and Collingwood limestone) is an emerging shale gas play. The goal of this study is to investigate the influence of water-rock interactions in controlling produced water quality. We evaluate toxic element leaching from shale samples in contact with model hydraulic fracturing fluids under system conditions corresponding to reservoir depths up to 1.5 km. Experimental results have begun to elucidate the relative importance of shale mineralogy, system conditions, and chemical additives in driving changes in produced water quality. Initial results indicate that hydraulic fracturing chemical additives have a strong influence on the extent of leaching of toxic elements from the shale. In particular, pH was a key factor in the release of uranium (U) and divalent metals, highlighting the importance of the mineral buffering capacity of the shale. Low pH values persisted in the Antrim and Utica shale experiments and resulted in higher U extraction efficiencies than that

  3. Multi-scale gas flow in Bazhen formation shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilyev, R.; Gerke, K.; Korost, D. V.; Karsanina, M.; Balushkina, N. S.; Kalmikov, G. A.; Mallants, D.

    2013-12-01

    To perform geological surveys, estimate gas/oil productivity and create large-scale reservoir models, detailed information on reservoir rock properties is needed. Such information typically includes main reservoir properties such as absolute and relative permeability, formation factor, residual oil/water content, etc. The only available method to study all these properties directly is based on laboratory analysis of core material. Usually, only porosity measurements using such techniques as NMR and mercury porosimetry are applicable to study the structure of porous spaces filled with kerogen and bitumen. To measure porosity these organic materials should be extracted (usually by dissolution), a process which can result in sample destruction as some part of the organics is the part of the matrix (and also non-extractable during production). Thus, a pore-scale modelling approach in many cases is not only a valuable alternative, but also the only way to assess physical properties. Unlike core material, drilling cuts are almost always available for analysis and can be used for processing in the laboratory. The main aim of this work is to develop a framework for accessing unconventional reservoir rock properties using pore-scale modeling on 3D models of porous structure of cores or drilling cuts. To do so we combine detailed laboratory measurements on more than 20 samples of shales with X-ray micro-tomography and SEM to study micro and nano-porosity (including kerogen porosity). First, we show that in many cases it is not possible to measure petrophysical properties (e.g., gas permeability) in the laboratory, as dissolution procedures usually result in non-realistic values. Next samples with measurable properties were chosen and micro-tomography 3D structure data combined with SEM images was used to create representative network models. Macroporosity and distribution of different non-porosity domains (kerogen, pyrite, quartz, etc.) is extracted from X-ray tomography

  4. Shale Gas Boom or Bust? Estimating US and Global Economically Recoverable Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecha, R. J.; Hilaire, J.; Bauer, N.

    2014-12-01

    One of the most disruptive energy system technological developments of the past few decades is the rapid expansion of shale gas production in the United States. Because the changes have been so rapid there are great uncertainties as to the impacts of shale production for medium- and long-term energy and climate change mitigation policies. A necessary starting point for incorporating shale resources into modeling efforts is to understand the size of the resource, how much is technically recoverable (TRR), and finally, how much is economically recoverable (ERR) at a given cost. To assess production costs of shale gas, we combine top-down data with detailed bottom-up information. Studies solely based on top-down approaches do not adequately account for the heterogeneity of shale gas deposits and are unlikely to appropriately estimate extraction costs. We design an expedient bottom-up method based on publicly available US data to compute the levelized costs of shale gas extraction. Our results indicate the existence of economically attractive areas but also reveal a dramatic cost increase as lower-quality reservoirs are exploited. Extrapolating results for the US to the global level, our best estimate suggests that, at a cost of 6 US$/GJ, only 39% of the technically recoverable resources reported in top-down studies should be considered economically recoverable. This estimate increases to about 77% when considering optimistic TRR and estimated ultimate recovery parameters but could be lower than 12% for more pessimistic parameters. The current lack of information on the heterogeneity of shale gas deposits as well as on the development of future production technologies leads to significant uncertainties regarding recovery rates and production costs. Much of this uncertainty may be inherent, but for energy system planning purposes, with or without climate change mitigation policies, it is crucial to recognize the full ranges of recoverable quantities and costs.

  5. Desalination and reuse of high-salinity shale gas produced water: drivers, technologies, and future directions.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, Devin L; Arias Chavez, Laura H; Ben-Sasson, Moshe; Romero-Vargas Castrillón, Santiago; Yip, Ngai Yin; Elimelech, Menachem

    2013-09-03

    In the rapidly developing shale gas industry, managing produced water is a major challenge for maintaining the profitability of shale gas extraction while protecting public health and the environment. We review the current state of practice for produced water management across the United States and discuss the interrelated regulatory, infrastructure, and economic drivers for produced water reuse. Within this framework, we examine the Marcellus shale play, a region in the eastern United States where produced water is currently reused without desalination. In the Marcellus region, and in other shale plays worldwide with similar constraints, contraction of current reuse opportunities within the shale gas industry and growing restrictions on produced water disposal will provide strong incentives for produced water desalination for reuse outside the industry. The most challenging scenarios for the selection of desalination for reuse over other management strategies will be those involving high-salinity produced water, which must be desalinated with thermal separation processes. We explore desalination technologies for treatment of high-salinity shale gas produced water, and we critically review mechanical vapor compression (MVC), membrane distillation (MD), and forward osmosis (FO) as the technologies best suited for desalination of high-salinity produced water for reuse outside the shale gas industry. The advantages and challenges of applying MVC, MD, and FO technologies to produced water desalination are discussed, and directions for future research and development are identified. We find that desalination for reuse of produced water is technically feasible and can be economically relevant. However, because produced water management is primarily an economic decision, expanding desalination for reuse is dependent on process and material improvements to reduce capital and operating costs.

  6. Quantifying atmospheric methane emissions from the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and northeastern Marcellus shale gas production regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peischl, J.; Ryerson, T. B.; Aikin, K. C.; Gouw, J. A.; Gilman, J. B.; Holloway, J. S.; Lerner, B. M.; Nadkarni, R.; Neuman, J. A.; Nowak, J. B.; Trainer, M.; Warneke, C.; Parrish, D. D.

    2015-03-01

    We present measurements of methane (CH4) taken aboard a NOAA WP-3D research aircraft in 2013 over the Haynesville shale region in eastern Texas/northwestern Louisiana, the Fayetteville shale region in Arkansas, and the northeastern Pennsylvania portion of the Marcellus shale region, which accounted for the majority of Marcellus shale gas production that year. We calculate emission rates from the horizontal CH4 flux in the planetary boundary layer downwind of each region after subtracting the CH4 flux entering the region upwind. We find 1 day CH4 emissions of (8.0 ± 2.7) × 107 g/h from the Haynesville region, (3.9 ± 1.8) × 107 g/h from the Fayetteville region, and (1.5 ± 0.6) × 107 g/h from the Marcellus region in northeastern Pennsylvania. Finally, we compare the CH4 emissions to the total volume of natural gas extracted from each region to derive a loss rate from production operations of 1.0-2.1% from the Haynesville region, 1.0-2.8% from the Fayetteville region, and 0.18-0.41% from the Marcellus region in northeastern Pennsylvania. The climate impact of CH4 loss from shale gas production depends upon the total leakage from all production regions. The regions investigated in this work represented over half of the U.S. shale gas production in 2013, and we find generally lower loss rates than those reported in earlier studies of regions that made smaller contributions to total production. Hence, the national average CH4 loss rate from shale gas production may be lower than values extrapolated from the earlier studies.

  7. Assessing Compositional Variability and Migration of Natural Gas in the Antrim Shale in the Michigan Basin Using Noble Gas Geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, T.; Castro, M. C.; Ellis, B. R.; Hall, C. M.; Lohmann, K. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Antrim Shale was one of the first economic shale gas plays in the U.S. and has been actively produced since the 1980's. While previous studies suggest co-produced water in the Antrim is a mixture of brine from deeper formations and freshwater recharge, the extent of water-gas interactions has yet to be determined. The extent and source of thermogenic methane in the Antrim Shale are also under debate. This study uses stable noble gases' (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) isotopic ratios and their volume fractions from the Antrim Shale gases to assess compositional variability and vertical fluid migration, in addition to distinguishing between the presence of thermogenic versus biogenic methane. R/Ra values of Antrim Shale gases (where R and Ra are the measured and atmospheric 3He/4He ratios, respectively) vary from 0.01 to 0.34 suggesting dominant crustal 4He in addition to minor mantle and atmospheric He. Elevated 20Ne/22Ne ratios (up to 10.4) point to mantle Ne. Similarly crustal 21Ne*, 40Ar* and 136Xe* are also suggested. High variability of noble gas signatures in the Antrim Shale are observed, which are mainly due to variable noble gas input from deep brines and, to a smaller extent, variable in-situ production in the Antrim Shale. Estimated 4He ages considering external 4He flux for Antrim water match well with timings of three major glaciation periods (Wisconsin, Illinoian and Kansan glaciations) in the Michigan Basin, suggesting that all our Antrim samples were more or less influenced by glaciation recharge. Consistency in measured and predicted 40Ar/36Ar assuming Ar release temperatures ≥ 250°C supports a thermogenic origin for the majority of the methane in our Antrim Shale gas samples. Thermogenic methane is likely to originate at greater depth, either from deeper portions of the Antrim Shale in the central Michigan Basin or from deeper formations underlying the Antrim Shale, as the thermal maturity of the Antrim Shale in our study area is low.

  8. Habitat Loss and Modification Due to Gas Development in the Fayetteville Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, Matthew D.; Cox, A. Brandon; Wells, Rachel L.; Benichou, Chloe C.; McClung, Maureen R.

    2015-06-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have become major methods to extract new oil and gas deposits, many of which exist in shale formations in the temperate deciduous biome of the eastern United States. While these technologies have increased natural gas production to new highs, they can have substantial environmental effects. We measured the changes in land use within the maturing Fayetteville Shale gas development region in Arkansas between 2001/2002 and 2012. Our goal was to estimate the land use impact of these new technologies in natural gas drilling and predict future consequences for habitat loss and fragmentation. Loss of natural forest in the gas field was significantly higher compared to areas outside the gas field. The creation of edge habitat, roads, and developed areas was also greater in the gas field. The Fayetteville Shale gas field fully developed about 2 % of the natural habitat within the region and increased edge habitat by 1,067 linear km. Our data indicate that without shale gas activities, forest cover would have increased slightly and edge habitat would have decreased slightly, similar to patterns seen recently in many areas of the southern U.S. On average, individual gas wells fully developed about 2.5 ha of land and modified an additional 0.5 ha of natural forest. Considering the large number of wells drilled in other parts of the eastern U.S. and projections for new wells in the future, shale gas development will likely have substantial negative effects on forested habitats and the organisms that depend upon them.

  9. Habitat loss and modification due to gas development in the Fayetteville shale.

    PubMed

    Moran, Matthew D; Cox, A Brandon; Wells, Rachel L; Benichou, Chloe C; McClung, Maureen R

    2015-06-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have become major methods to extract new oil and gas deposits, many of which exist in shale formations in the temperate deciduous biome of the eastern United States. While these technologies have increased natural gas production to new highs, they can have substantial environmental effects. We measured the changes in land use within the maturing Fayetteville Shale gas development region in Arkansas between 2001/2002 and 2012. Our goal was to estimate the land use impact of these new technologies in natural gas drilling and predict future consequences for habitat loss and fragmentation. Loss of natural forest in the gas field was significantly higher compared to areas outside the gas field. The creation of edge habitat, roads, and developed areas was also greater in the gas field. The Fayetteville Shale gas field fully developed about 2% of the natural habitat within the region and increased edge habitat by 1,067 linear km. Our data indicate that without shale gas activities, forest cover would have increased slightly and edge habitat would have decreased slightly, similar to patterns seen recently in many areas of the southern U.S. On average, individual gas wells fully developed about 2.5 ha of land and modified an additional 0.5 ha of natural forest. Considering the large number of wells drilled in other parts of the eastern U.S. and projections for new wells in the future, shale gas development will likely have substantial negative effects on forested habitats and the organisms that depend upon them.

  10. Hazard-Specific Vulnerability Mapping for Water Security in a Shale Gas Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, D. M.; Holding, S.; McKoen, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Northeast British Columbia (NEBC) is estimated to hold large reserves of unconventional natural gas and has experienced rapid growth in shale gas development activities over recent decades. Shale gas development has the potential to impact the quality and quantity of surface and ground water. Robust policies and sound water management are required to protect water security in relation to the water-energy nexus surrounding shale gas development. In this study, hazard-specific vulnerability mapping was conducted across NEBC to identify areas most vulnerable to water quality and quantity deterioration due to shale gas development. Vulnerability represents the combination of a specific hazard threat and the susceptibility of the water system to that threat. Hazard threats (i.e. potential contamination sources and water abstraction) were mapped spatially across the region. The shallow aquifer susceptibility to contamination was characterised using the DRASTIC aquifer vulnerability approach, while the aquifer susceptibility to abstraction was mapped according to aquifer productivity. Surface water susceptibility to contamination was characterised on a watershed basis to describe the propensity for overland flow (i.e. contaminant transport), while watershed discharge estimates were used to assess surface water susceptibility to water abstractions. The spatial distribution of hazard threats and susceptibility were combined to form hazard-specific vulnerability maps for groundwater quality, groundwater quantity, surface water quality and surface water quantity. The vulnerability maps identify priority areas for further research, monitoring and policy development. Priority areas regarding water quality occur where hazard threat (contamination potential) coincide with high aquifer susceptibility or high overland flow potential. Priority areas regarding water quantity occur where demand is estimated to represent a significant proportion of estimated supply. The identification

  11. Determining the locus of a processing zone in an oil shale retort by effluent off gas heating value

    SciTech Connect

    Cha, C.Y.

    1981-07-21

    A processing zone advances through a fragmented permeable mass of particles containing oil shale in an in situ oil shale retort in a subterranean formation containing oil shale. The retort has an effluent gas passing therefrom. The effluent gas has a heating value which is dependent on the kerogen content of the oil shale then in contact with the processing zone. To determine the locus of the processing zone, the formation is assayed at selected locations in the retort for kerogen content before processing the selected locations, and effluent gas from the retort is monitored for its heating value.

  12. Shale gas and non-aqueous fracturing fluids: Opportunities and challenges for supercritical CO₂

    DOE PAGES

    Middleton, Richard S.; Carey, James William; Currier, Robert P.; ...

    2015-06-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations in the United States has led to a domestic energy boom. Currently, water is the only fracturing fluid regularly used in commercial shale oil and gas production. Industry and researchers are interested in non-aqueous working fluids due to their potential to increase production, reduce water requirements, and to minimize environmental impacts. Using a combination of new experimental and modeling data at multiple scales, we analyze the benefits and drawbacks of using CO₂ as a working fluid for shale gas production. We theorize and outline potential advantages of CO₂ including enhanced fracturing and fracture propagation, reductionmore » of flow-blocking mechanisms, increased desorption of methane adsorbed in organic-rich parts of the shale, and a reduction or elimination of the deep re-injection of flow-back water that has been linked to induced seismicity and other environmental concerns. We also examine likely disadvantages including costs and safety issues associated with handling large volumes of supercritical CO₂. The advantages could have a significant impact over time leading to substantially increased gas production. In addition, if CO₂ proves to be an effective fracturing fluid, then shale gas formations could become a major utilization option for carbon sequestration.« less

  13. Shale gas and non-aqueous fracturing fluids: Opportunities and challenges for supercritical CO₂

    SciTech Connect

    Middleton, Richard S.; Carey, James William; Currier, Robert P.; Hyman, Jeffrey De'Haven; Kang, Qinjun; Karra, Satish; Jiménez-Martínez, Joaquín; Porter, Mark L.; Viswanathan, Hari S.

    2015-06-01

    Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations in the United States has led to a domestic energy boom. Currently, water is the only fracturing fluid regularly used in commercial shale oil and gas production. Industry and researchers are interested in non-aqueous working fluids due to their potential to increase production, reduce water requirements, and to minimize environmental impacts. Using a combination of new experimental and modeling data at multiple scales, we analyze the benefits and drawbacks of using CO₂ as a working fluid for shale gas production. We theorize and outline potential advantages of CO₂ including enhanced fracturing and fracture propagation, reduction of flow-blocking mechanisms, increased desorption of methane adsorbed in organic-rich parts of the shale, and a reduction or elimination of the deep re-injection of flow-back water that has been linked to induced seismicity and other environmental concerns. We also examine likely disadvantages including costs and safety issues associated with handling large volumes of supercritical CO₂. The advantages could have a significant impact over time leading to substantially increased gas production. In addition, if CO₂ proves to be an effective fracturing fluid, then shale gas formations could become a major utilization option for carbon sequestration.

  14. Numerical simulation of the electrical properties of shale gas reservoir rock based on digital core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Xin; Zou, Changchun; Li, Zhenhua; Meng, Xiaohong; Qi, Xinghua

    2016-08-01

    In this paper we study the electrical properties of shale gas reservoir rock by applying the finite element method to digital cores which are built based on an advanced Markov Chain Monte Carlo method and a combination workflow. Study shows that the shale gas reservoir rock has strong anisotropic electrical conductivity because the conductivity is significantly different in both horizontal and vertical directions. The Archie formula is not suitable for application in shale reservoirs. The formation resistivity decreases in two cases; namely (a) with the increase of clay mineral content and the cation exchange capacity of clay, and (b) with the increase of pyrite content. The formation resistivity is not sensitive to the solid organic matter but to the clay and gas in the pores.

  15. Wellsite, laboratory, and mathematical techniques for determining sorbed gas content of coals and gas shales utilizing well cuttings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newell, K.D.

    2007-01-01

    Drill cuttings can be used for desorption analyses but with more uncertainty than desorption analyses done with cores. Drill cuttings are not recommended to take the place of core, but in some circumstances, desorption work with cuttings can provide a timely and economic supplement to that of cores. The mixed lithologic nature of drill cuttings is primarily the source of uncertainty in their analysis for gas content, for it is unclear how to apportion the gas generated from both the coal and the dark-colored shale that is mixed in usually with the coal. In the Western Interior Basin Coal Basin in eastern Kansas (Pennsylvanian-age coals), dark-colored shales with normal (??? 100 API units) gamma-ray levels seem to give off minimal amounts of gas on the order of less than five standard cubic feet per ton (scf/ton). In some cuttings analyses this rule of thumb for gas content of the shale is adequate for inferring the gas content of coals, but shales with high-gamma-ray values (>150 API units) may yield several times this amount of gas. The uncertainty in desorption analysis of drill cuttings can be depicted graphically on a diagram identified as a "lithologic component sensitivity analysis diagram." Comparison of cuttings desorption results from nearby wells on this diagram, can sometimes yield an unique solution for the gas content of both a dark shale and coal mixed in a cuttings sample. A mathematical solution, based on equating the dry, ash-free gas-contents of the admixed coal and dark-colored shale, also yields results that are correlative to data from nearby cores. ?? 2007 International Association for Mathematical Geology.

  16. A Theoretical Investigation of Radial Lateral Wells with Shockwave Completion in Shale Gas Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Jia

    As its role in satisfying the energy demand of the U.S. and as a clean fuel has become more significant than ever, the shale gas production in the U.S. has gained increasing momentum over recent years. Thus, effective and environmentally friendly methods to extract shale gas are critical. Hydraulic fracturing has been proven to be efficient in the production of shale gas. However, environmental issues such as underground water contamination and high usage of water make this technology controversial. A potential technology to eliminate the environmental issues concerning water usage and contamination is to use blast fracturing, which uses explosives to create fractures. It can be further aided by HEGF and multi-pulse pressure loading technology, which causes less crushing effect near the wellbore and induces longer fractures. Radial drilling is another relatively new technology that can bypass damage zones due to drilling and create a larger drainage area through drilling horizontal wellbores. Blast fracturing and radial drilling both have the advantage of cost saving. The successful combination of blast fracturing and radial drilling has a great potential for improving U.S. shale gas production. An analytical productivity model was built in this study, considering linear flow from the reservoir rock to the fracture face, to analyze factors affecting shale gas production from radial lateral wells with shockwave completion. Based on the model analyses, the number of fractures per lateral is concluded to be the most effective factor controlling the productivity index of blast-fractured radial lateral wells. This model can be used for feasibility studies of replacing hydraulic fracturing by blast fracturing in shale gas well completions. Prediction of fracture geometry is recommended for future studies.

  17. Mobile Measurements of Gas and Particle Emissions from Marcellus Shale Gas Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, P. F.; Goetz, J. D.; Floerchinger, C. R.; Fortner, E.; Wormhoudt, J.; Knighton, W. B.; Herndon, S.; Kolb, C. E.; Shaw, S. L.; Knipping, E. M.

    2013-12-01

    Production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale is increasing rapidly due to the vast quantities of natural gas stored in the formation. Transient and long-term activities have associated emissions to the atmosphere of methane, volatile organic compounds, NOx, particulates and other species from gas production and transport infrastructure. In the summer of 2012, a team of researchers from Drexel University and Aerodyne Research deployed the Aerodyne mobile laboratory (AML) and measured in-situ concentrations of gas-phase and aerosol chemical components in the main gas producing regions of Pennsylvania, with the overall goal of understanding the impacts to regional ozone and particulate matter (PM) concentrations. State-of-the-art instruments including quantum cascade laser systems, proton transfer mass spectrometry, tunable diode lasers and a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer, were used quantify concentrations of pollutants of interest. Chemical species measured include methane, ethane, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, and many volatile organic compounds, and aerosol size and chemical composition. Tracer-release techniques were employed to link sources with emissions and to quantify emission rates from gas facilities, in order to understand the regional burden of these chemical species from oil and gas development in the Marcellus. Measurements were conducted in two regions of Pennsylvania: the NE region that is predominantly dry gas (95% + methane), and the SW region where wet gas (containing greater than 5% higher hydrocarbons) is found. Regional scale measurements of current levels of air pollutants will be shown and will put into context how further development of the gas resource in one of the largest natural gas fields in the world impacts air quality in a region upwind of the highly urbanized east coast corridor.

  18. Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Robert B; Vengosh, Avner; Darrah, Thomas H; Warner, Nathaniel R; Down, Adrian; Poreda, Robert J; Osborn, Stephen G; Zhao, Kaiguang; Karr, Jonathan D

    2013-07-09

    Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are transforming energy production, but their potential environmental effects remain controversial. We analyzed 141 drinking water wells across the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province of northeastern Pennsylvania, examining natural gas concentrations and isotopic signatures with proximity to shale gas wells. Methane was detected in 82% of drinking water samples, with average concentrations six times higher for homes <1 km from natural gas wells (P = 0.0006). Ethane was 23 times higher in homes <1 km from gas wells (P = 0.0013); propane was detected in 10 water wells, all within approximately 1 km distance (P = 0.01). Of three factors previously proposed to influence gas concentrations in shallow groundwater (distances to gas wells, valley bottoms, and the Appalachian Structural Front, a proxy for tectonic deformation), distance to gas wells was highly significant for methane concentrations (P = 0.007; multiple regression), whereas distances to valley bottoms and the Appalachian Structural Front were not significant (P = 0.27 and P = 0.11, respectively). Distance to gas wells was also the most significant factor for Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses (P < 0.01). For ethane concentrations, distance to gas wells was the only statistically significant factor (P < 0.005). Isotopic signatures (δ(13)C-CH4, δ(13)C-C2H6, and δ(2)H-CH4), hydrocarbon ratios (methane to ethane and propane), and the ratio of the noble gas (4)He to CH4 in groundwater were characteristic of a thermally postmature Marcellus-like source in some cases. Overall, our data suggest that some homeowners living <1 km from gas wells have drinking water contaminated with stray gases.

  19. Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Robert B.; Vengosh, Avner; Darrah, Thomas H.; Warner, Nathaniel R.; Down, Adrian; Poreda, Robert J.; Osborn, Stephen G.; Zhao, Kaiguang; Karr, Jonathan D.

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are transforming energy production, but their potential environmental effects remain controversial. We analyzed 141 drinking water wells across the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province of northeastern Pennsylvania, examining natural gas concentrations and isotopic signatures with proximity to shale gas wells. Methane was detected in 82% of drinking water samples, with average concentrations six times higher for homes <1 km from natural gas wells (P = 0.0006). Ethane was 23 times higher in homes <1 km from gas wells (P = 0.0013); propane was detected in 10 water wells, all within approximately 1 km distance (P = 0.01). Of three factors previously proposed to influence gas concentrations in shallow groundwater (distances to gas wells, valley bottoms, and the Appalachian Structural Front, a proxy for tectonic deformation), distance to gas wells was highly significant for methane concentrations (P = 0.007; multiple regression), whereas distances to valley bottoms and the Appalachian Structural Front were not significant (P = 0.27 and P = 0.11, respectively). Distance to gas wells was also the most significant factor for Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses (P < 0.01). For ethane concentrations, distance to gas wells was the only statistically significant factor (P < 0.005). Isotopic signatures (δ13C-CH4, δ13C-C2H6, and δ2H-CH4), hydrocarbon ratios (methane to ethane and propane), and the ratio of the noble gas 4He to CH4 in groundwater were characteristic of a thermally postmature Marcellus-like source in some cases. Overall, our data suggest that some homeowners living <1 km from gas wells have drinking water contaminated with stray gases. PMID:23798404

  20. A Model To Estimate Carbon Dioxide Injectivity and Storage Capacity for Geological Sequestration in Shale Gas Wells.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Ryan W J; Celia, Michael A; Bandilla, Karl W; Doster, Florian; Kanno, Cynthia M

    2015-08-04

    Recent studies suggest the possibility of CO2 sequestration in depleted shale gas formations, motivated by large storage capacity estimates in these formations. Questions remain regarding the dynamic response and practicality of injection of large amounts of CO2 into shale gas wells. A two-component (CO2 and CH4) model of gas flow in a shale gas formation including adsorption effects provides the basis to investigate the dynamics of CO2 injection. History-matching of gas production data allows for formation parameter estimation. Application to three shale gas-producing regions shows that CO2 can only be injected at low rates into individual wells and that individual well capacity is relatively small, despite significant capacity variation between shale plays. The estimated total capacity of an average Marcellus Shale well in Pennsylvania is 0.5 million metric tonnes (Mt) of CO2, compared with 0.15 Mt in an average Barnett Shale well. Applying the individual well estimates to the total number of existing and permitted planned wells (as of March, 2015) in each play yields a current estimated capacity of 7200-9600 Mt in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and 2100-3100 Mt in the Barnett Shale.

  1. Considerations for the development of shale gas in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Hays, Jake; Finkel, Madelon L; Depledge, Michael; Law, Adam; Shonkoff, Seth B C

    2015-04-15

    The United States shale gas boom has precipitated global interest in the development of unconventional oil and gas resources. Recently, government ministers in the United Kingdom started granting licenses that will enable companies to begin initial exploration for shale gas. Meanwhile, concern is increasing among the scientific community about the potential impacts of shale gas and other types of unconventional natural gas development (UGD) on human health and the environment. Although significant data gaps remain, there has been a surge in the number of articles appearing in the scientific literature, nearly three-quarters of which has been published since the beginning of 2013. Important lessons can be drawn from the UGD experience in the United States. Here we explore these considerations and argue that shale gas development policies in the UK and elsewhere should be informed by empirical evidence generated on environmental, public health, and social risks. Additionally, policy decisions should take into account the measured effectiveness of harm reduction strategies as opposed to hypothetical scenarios and purported best practices that lack empirical support.

  2. Numerical simulation of ultrasonic wave transmission experiments in rocks of shale gas reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Qiao; Yao, Guanghua; Zhu, Honglin; Tan, Yanhu; Xu, Fenglin

    2017-01-01

    Shale gas reservoirs have risen in importance in China's new power source exploration and development program. The investigation of the propagation of ultrasonic waves in shale forms the basis for the full waveform application of acoustic logging data to the exploration of shale gas. Using acoustic wave theory, initial conditions, vibration source conditions, and stability conditions are developed in combination with experimental background of ultrasonic wave transmission. With improved boundary conditions, we performed numerical simulations of the ultrasound transmission experiments in shale using the high-order staggered-grid finite difference method (second-order in the time domain and fourth-order in the space domain). With programs developed within MatLab, the results obtained from numerical simulations agree well with experimental results based on physical models. In addition, using snapshots of the wave field that give a microscopic perspective, the propagation laws for ultrasonic waves can be analyzed. Using this method, human error is avoided, transmission experiments costs can be reduced and efficiency improved. This method extends the scope of experimental investigations regarding the transmission of ultrasonic waves in a shale gas reservoir with increasing stratification, and thus has great theoretical value and practical significance.

  3. Occurrence of oil and gas in Devonian shales and equivalents in West Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    Schwietering, J. F.

    1981-03-01

    During the Devonian, an epicontinental sea was present in the Appalachian basin. The Catskill Clastic Wedge was formed in the eastern part of the basin by sediments derived from land along the margin of the continent. Three facies are recognized in the Catskill Clastic Wedge: (1) a red-bed facies deposited in terrestrial and nearshore marine environments; (2) a gray shale and sandstone facies deposited in a shallow- to moderately-deep marine environment; and (3) a dark-gray shale and siltstone facies deposited in the deepest part of the epicontinental sea. Oil and natural gas are being produced from Devonian shales in the western part of West Virginia and from upper Devonian sandstones and siltstones in the north-central part of the state. It is suggested that in addition to extending known areas of gas production, that drilling for natural gas be conducted in areas underlain by organic-rich shales and thick zones of interbedded siltstone and shale in the Devonian section in central, southern, and western West Virginia. The most promising areas for exploration are those areas where fractures are associated with folds, faults, and lineaments. 60 references.

  4. Unconventional energy resources: 2015 review. Shale gas and liquids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fishman, Neil S.; Bowker, Kent; Cander, Harris; Cardott, Brian; Charette, Marc; Chew, Kenneth; Chidsey, Thomas; Dubiel, Russell F.; Egenhoff, Sven O.; Enomoto, Catherine B.; Hammes, Ursula; Harrison, William; Jiang, Shu; LeFever, Julie A.; McCracken, Jock; Nordeng, Stephen; Nyahay, Richard; Sonnenberg, Stephen; Vanden Berg, Michael; ,

    2015-01-01

    Introduction As the source rocks from which petroleum is generated, organic-rich shales have always been considered an important component of petroleum systems. Over the last few years, it has been realized that in some mudrocks, sufficient hydrocarbons remain in place to allow for commercial development, although advanced drilling and completion technology is typically required to access hydrocarbons from these reservoirs. Tight oil reservoirs (also referred to as continuous oil accumulations) contain hydrocarbons migrated from source rocks that are geologically/stratigraphically interbedded with or occur immediately overlying/underlying them. Migration is minimal in charging these tight oil accumulations (Gaswirth and Marra 2014). Companies around the world are now successfully exploiting organic-rich shales and tight rocks for contained hydrocarbons, and the search for these types of unconventional petroleum reservoirs is growing. Unconventional reservoirs range in geologic age from Ordovician to Tertiary (Silverman et al. 2005; EIA 2013a). 

  5. Fracture patterns and their origin in the upper Devonian Antrim Shale gas reservoir of the Michigan basin; a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryder, Robert T.

    1996-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Black shale members of the Upper Devonian Antrim Shale are both the source and reservoir for a regional gas accumulation that presently extends across parts of six counties in the northern part of the Michigan basin (fig. 1). Natural fractures are considered by most petroleum geologists and oil and gas operators who work the Michigan basin to be a necessary condition for commercial gas production in the Antrim Shale. Fractures provide the conduits for free gas and associated water to flow to the borehole through the black shale which, otherwise, has a low matrix permeability. Moreover, the fractures assist in the release of gas adsorbed on mineral and(or) organic matter in the shale (Curtis, 1992). Depths to the gas-producing intervals (Norwood and Lachine Members) generally range from 1,200 to 1,800 ft (Oil and Gas Journal, 1994). Locally, wells that produce gas from the accumulation are as deep as 2,200 (Oil and Gas Journal, 1994). Even though natural fractures are an important control on Antrim Shale gas production, most wells require stimulation by hydraulic fracturing to attain commercial production rates (Kelly, 1992). In the U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of United States oil and gas, Dolton (1995) estimates that, at a mean value, 4.45 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas are recoverable as additions to already discovered quantities from the Antrim Shale in the productive area of the northern Michigan trend. Dolton (1995) also suggests that undiscovered Antrim Shale gas accumulations exist in other parts of the Michigan basin. The character, distribution, and origin of natural fractures in the Antrim Shale gas accumulation have been studied recently by academia and industry. The intent of these investigations is to: 1) predict 'sweet spots', prior to drilling, in the existing gas-producing trend, 2) improve production practices in the existing trend, 3) predict analogous fracture-controlled gas accumulations in other parts of the

  6. Geomechanical Characteristics of Gas Shales: A Case Study in the North Perth Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasouli, Vamegh; Sutherland, Andrew

    2014-11-01

    Gas shales are one type of unconventional reservoirs which have attracted significant attention for gas production in recent years. Gas production from very tight shales requires employment of hydraulic fracturing as a stimulation technique. To design hydraulic fracture operation the mechanical properties of the targeted and surrounding formations should be estimated. Also, the magnitude and orientation of in situ stresses in the field need to be known to estimate the fracture initiation and propagation pressures. This study focuses on gas shale characteristics in the North Perth Basin and uses data corresponding to well Arrowsmith-2 (AS-2) which is the first dedicated shale gas well drilled in Western Australia. A log-based analysis was used to build the rock mechanical model (RMM). The RMM results were used to set up a hydraulic fracturing laboratory experiment. The test was done in the presence of three principal stresses to mimic the real field stress conditions. The test results include the pressure-time curve which was used to estimate the initiation and propagation pressure at that depth. The results were used to draw some practical conclusions related to hydraulic fracturing operation in the field.

  7. Permitting program with best management practices for shale gas wells to safeguard public health.

    PubMed

    Centner, Terence J; Petetin, Ludivine

    2015-11-01

    The development of shale gas resources in the United States has been controversial as governments have been tardy in devising sufficient safeguards to protect both people and the environment. Alleged health and environmental damages suggest that other countries around the world that decide to develop their shale gas resources can learn from these problems and take further actions to prevent situations resulting in the release of harmful pollutants. Looking at U.S. federal regulations governing large animal operations under the permitting provisions of the Clean Water Act, the idea of a permitting program is proposed to respond to the risks of pollution by shale gas development activities. Governments can require permits before allowing the drilling of a new gas well. Each permit would include fluids and air emissions reduction plans containing best management practices to minimize risks and releases of pollutants. The public availability of permits and permit applications, as occurs for water pollution under various U.S. permitting programs, would assist governments in protecting public health. The permitting proposals provide governments a means for providing further assurances that shale gas development projects will not adversely affect people and the environment.

  8. Shale Gas and Tight Oil: A Panacea for the Energy Woes of America?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, J. D.

    2012-12-01

    Shale gas has been heralded as a "game changer" in the struggle to meet America's demand for energy. The "Pickens Plan" of Texas oil and gas pioneer T.Boone Pickens suggests that gas can replace coal for much of U.S. electricity generation, and oil for, at least, truck transportation1. Industry lobby groups such as ANGA declare "that the dream of clean, abundant, home grown energy is now reality"2. In Canada, politicians in British Columbia are racing to export the virtual bounty of shale gas via LNG to Asia (despite the fact that Canadian gas production is down 16 percent from its 2001 peak). And the EIA has forecast that the U.S. will become a net exporter of gas by 20213. Similarly, recent reports from Citigroup and Harvard suggest that an oil glut is on the horizon thanks in part to the application of fracking technology to formerly inaccessible low permeability tight oil plays. The fundamentals of well costs and declines belie this optimism. Shale gas is expensive gas. In the early days it was declared that "continuous plays" like shale gas were "manufacturing operations", and that geology didn't matter. One could drill a well anywhere, it was suggested, and expect consistent production. Unfortunately, Mother Nature always has the last word, and inevitably the vast expanses of purported potential shale gas resources contracted to "core" areas, where geological conditions were optimal. The cost to produce shale gas ranges from 4.00 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) to 10.00, depending on the play. Natural gas production is a story about declines which now amount to 32% per year in the U.S. So 22 billion cubic feet per day of production now has to be replaced each year to keep overall production flat. At current prices of 2.50/mcf, industry is short about 50 billion per year in cash flow to make this happen4. As a result I expect falling production and rising prices in the near to medium term. Similarly, tight oil plays in North Dakota and Texas have been heralded

  9. Lung Cancer Risk from Radon in Marcellus Shale Gas in Northeast U.S. Homes.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Austin L; Griffin, W Michael; Casman, Elizabeth A

    2016-11-01

    The amount of radon in natural gas varies with its source. Little has been published about the radon from shale gas to date, making estimates of its impact on radon-induced lung cancer speculative. We measured radon in natural gas pipelines carrying gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Radon concentrations ranged from 1,520 to 2,750 Bq/m(3) (41-74 pCi/L), and the throughput-weighted average was 1,983 Bq/m(3) (54 pCi/L). Potential radon exposure due to the use of Marcellus Shale gas for cooking and space heating using vent-free heaters or gas ranges in northeastern U.S. homes and apartments was assessed. Though the measured radon concentrations are higher than what has been previously reported, it is unlikely that exposure from natural gas cooking would exceed 1.2 Bq/m(3) (<1% of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's action level). Using worst-case assumptions, we estimate the excess lifetime (70 years) lung cancer risk associated with cooking to be 1.8×10(-4) (interval spanning 95% of simulation results: 8.5×10(-5) , 3.4×10(-4) ). The risk profile for supplemental heating with unvented gas appliances is similar. Individuals using unvented gas appliances to provide primary heating may face lifetime risks as high as 3.9×10(-3) . Under current housing stock and gas consumption assumptions, expected levels of residential radon exposure due to unvented combustion of Marcellus Shale natural gas in the Northeast United States do not result in a detectable change in the lung cancer death rates.

  10. Educating students and stakeholders about shale gas production using a physical model of hydraulic fracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stute, M.; Garten, L.

    2013-12-01

    Natural gas from shale gas deposits in the United States can potentially help reduce the dependency on foreign energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve economic development in currently depressed regions of the country. However, the hydraulic fracturing process (';fracking') employed to release natural gas from formation such as the Marcellus Shale in New York State and Pennsylvania carries significant environmental risks, in particular for local and regional water resources. The current polarized discussion of the topic needs to be informed by sound data and a better understanding of the technical, scientific, social, and economic aspects of hydrofracking. We developed, built and tested an interactive portable physical model of the gas production by hydrofracking that can be used in class rooms and at public events to visualize the procedures and associated risks including the dynamics of water, gas and fracking fluids. Dyes are used to identify shale, fracking fluids and backflow and can be traced in the adjacent groundwater system. Gas production is visualized by a CO2 producing acid/bicarbonate solution reaction. The tank was shown to considerably improve knowledge of environmental issues related to unconventional gas production by hydrofracking in an advanced undergraduate course.

  11. Evaluation of impact of shale gas operations in the Barnett Shale region on volatile organic compounds in air and potential human health risks.

    PubMed

    Bunch, A G; Perry, C S; Abraham, L; Wikoff, D S; Tachovsky, J A; Hixon, J G; Urban, J D; Harris, M A; Haws, L C

    2014-01-15

    Shale gas exploration and production (E&P) has experienced substantial growth across the U.S. over the last decade. The Barnett Shale, in north-central Texas, contains one of the largest, most active onshore gas fields in North America, stretching across 5000 square miles and having an estimated 15,870 producing wells as of 2011. Given that these operations may occur in relatively close proximity to populated/urban areas, concerns have been expressed about potential impacts on human health. In response to these concerns, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality established an extensive air monitoring network in the region. This network provides a unique data set for evaluating the potential impact of shale gas E&P activities on human health. As such, the objective of this study was to evaluate community-wide exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the Barnett Shale region. In this current study, more than 4.6 million data points (representing data from seven monitors at six locations, up to 105 VOCs/monitor, and periods of record dating back to 2000) were evaluated. Measured air concentrations were compared to federal and state health-based air comparison values (HBACVs) to assess potential acute and chronic health effects. None of the measured VOC concentrations exceeded applicable acute HBACVs. Only one chemical (1,2-dibromoethane) exceeded its applicable chronic HBACV, but it is not known to be associated with shale gas production activities. Annual average concentrations were also evaluated in deterministic and probabilistic risk assessments and all risks/hazards were below levels of concern. The analyses demonstrate that, for the extensive number of VOCs measured, shale gas production activities have not resulted in community-wide exposures to those VOCs at levels that would pose a health concern. With the high density of active wells in this region, these findings may be useful for understanding potential health risks in other shale play

  12. Current and future water needs of the shale gas industry in Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicot, J.

    2010-12-01

    The Barnett Shale gas play, located in North Texas, has seen a relatively quick growth in the past decade with the development of new “frac” technologies needed to create pathways to produce gas from the very low permeability shales. More plays such as the Haynesville, Woodford, and Eagle Ford are coming online at a steeper rate than the Barnett did, even including the small dip in activity due to the recent economic slowdown. A typical horizontal well completion consumes over 3 millions gallons of fresh water in a very short time (days). The trend in the industry is to increase the length of laterals with an increased water use. Vertical well completion also typically consumes in excess of 1 million gallons. There are currently over 14,000 completed shale gas wells in the State of Texas and many more will be drilled in the next decades. If tight-gas completions are included, the volume of water used is even larger, raising some concerns among local communities and other groundwater stakeholders. However, the volume remains low on average compared to irrigation demand, although locally it can lead to conflicts. Nevertheless, the industry is improving its water footprint by increased recycling, developing alternative sources of water (brackish, treatment plants) and more efficient additives, and other innovative strategies. This paper presents current shale gas water use in Texas compiled from various sources as well as water use projections for the next decades based on recent data and our understanding of shale gas geology. The map shows the 30,000+ wells frac'ed in the past 5 years in Texas

  13. Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP: first year of fact-based communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübner, Andreas; Horsfield, Brian; Petrow, Theresia

    2013-04-01

    Natural gas produced from shale, already on stream in the USA, and under development in many regions worldwide, has brought about a fundamental change in energy resource distribution and energy politics. According to recent IEA publications, shale gas production will continue to rise globally and will be embraced by many more countries than at present. Shale gas production, especially in densely populated regions, brings with it a new dimension of risk alongside potential benefits. A fact-based discussion of the pros and cons, however, has been hampered in part by a scarcity of scientific knowledge on the related risks, and by a lack of appropriate, i.e. transparent and balanced, communication of the academic research perspective. With the Shale Gas Information Platform SHIP, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences engages in the public discussion of technical and environmental issues related to shale gas exploration and production. The project was launched online in early 2012, at a propitious time: the public debate was until then dominated by voices from industry and from environmental groups, which were often biased and/or lacking sound factual background. Significant academic research on the risks related to shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing operations in particular only started in 2011 and continued to expand in 2012. This was reflected in an increased output of peer-reviewed publications and academic reports. SHIP puts these into perspective and brings them to the attention of the broader public. With just one year of online presence, SHIP has already effectively filled the void in fact-based information on shale gas. This can be seen by a continuing demand for subscriptions to our News Email Alert Service, and by invitations SHIP has received to conferences and workshops, in order to share our experience of science-based and balanced information dissemination. SHIP's web content is expanding and so is its expert network. Collaborations

  14. Evolution of water chemistry during Marcellus Shale gas development: A case study in West Virginia.

    PubMed

    Ziemkiewicz, Paul F; Thomas He, Y

    2015-09-01

    Hydraulic fracturing (HF) has been used with horizontal drilling to extract gas and natural gas liquids from source rock such as the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin. Horizontal drilling and HF generates large volumes of waste water known as flowback. While inorganic ion chemistry has been well characterized, and the general increase in concentration through the flowback is widely recognized, the literature contains little information relative to organic compounds and radionuclides. This study examined the chemical evolution of liquid process and waste streams (including makeup water, HF fluids, and flowback) in four Marcellus Shale gas well sites in north central West Virginia. Concentrations of organic and inorganic constituents and radioactive isotopes were measured to determine changes in waste water chemistry during shale gas development. We found that additives used in fracturing fluid may contribute to some of the constituents (e.g., Fe) found in flowback, but they appear to play a minor role. Time sequence samples collected during flowback indicated increasing concentrations of organic, inorganic and radioactive constituents. Nearly all constituents were found in much higher concentrations in flowback water than in injected HF fluids suggesting that the bulk of constituents originate in the Marcellus Shale formation rather than in the formulation of the injected HF fluids. Liquid wastes such as flowback and produced water, are largely recycled for subsequent fracturing operations. These practices limit environmental exposure to flowback.

  15. Molecular mechanism of adsorption/desorption hysteresis: dynamics of shale gas in nanopores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jie; Wang, FengChao; Liu, He; Wu, HengAn

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the adsorption and desorption behavior of methane has received considerable attention since it is one of the crucial aspects of the exploitation of shale gas. Unexpectedly, obvious hysteresis is observed from the ideally reversible physical sorption of methane in some experiments. However, the underlying mechanism still remains an open problem. In this study, Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to explore the molecular mechanisms of adsorption/desorption hysteresis. First, a detailed analysis about the capillary condensation of methane in micropores is presented. The influence of pore width, surface strength, and temperature on the hysteresis loop is further investigated. It is found that a disappearance of hysteresis occurs above a temperature threshold. Combined with the phase diagram of methane, we explicitly point out that capillary condensation is inapplicable for the hysteresis of shale gas under normal temperature conditions. Second, a new mechanism, variation of pore throat size, is proposed and studied. For methane to pass through the throat, a certain energy is required due to the repulsive interaction. The required energy increases with shrinkage of the throat, such that the originally adsorbed methane cannot escape through the narrowed throat. These trapped methane molecules account for the hysteresis. Furthermore, the hysteresis loop is found to increase with the increasing pressure and decreasing temperature. We suggest that the variation of pore throat size can explain the adsorption/desorption hysteresis of shale gas. Our conclusions and findings are of great significance for guiding the efficient exploitation of shale gas.

  16. Environmental flows in the context of unconventional natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantitative flow-ecology relationships are needed to evaluate the threat of water withdrawals associated with unconventional natural gas development to aquatic ecosystems. Addressing this need, we assessed current patterns of hydrologic alteration in the Marcellus Shale region by comparing observed...

  17. Life Cycle Water Consumption and Wastewater Generation Impacts of a Marcellus Shale Gas Well

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    This study estimates the life cycle water consumption and wastewater generation impacts of a Marcellus shale gas well from its construction to end of life. Direct water consumption at the well site was assessed by analysis of data from approximately 500 individual well completion reports collected in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Indirect water consumption for supply chain production at each life cycle stage of the well was estimated using the economic input–output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) method. Life cycle direct and indirect water quality pollution impacts were assessed and compared using the tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts (TRACI). Wastewater treatment cost was proposed as an additional indicator for water quality pollution impacts from shale gas well wastewater. Four water management scenarios for Marcellus shale well wastewater were assessed: current conditions in Pennsylvania; complete discharge; direct reuse and desalination; and complete desalination. The results show that under the current conditions, an average Marcellus shale gas well consumes 20 000 m3 (with a range from 6700 to 33 000 m3) of freshwater per well over its life cycle excluding final gas utilization, with 65% direct water consumption at the well site and 35% indirect water consumption across the supply chain production. If all flowback and produced water is released into the environment without treatment, direct wastewater from a Marcellus shale gas well is estimated to have 300–3000 kg N-eq eutrophication potential, 900–23 000 kg 2,4D-eq freshwater ecotoxicity potential, 0–370 kg benzene-eq carcinogenic potential, and 2800–71 000 MT toluene-eq noncarcinogenic potential. The potential toxicity of the chemicals in the wastewater from the well site exceeds those associated with supply chain production, except for carcinogenic effects. If all the Marcellus shale well

  18. Life cycle water consumption and wastewater generation impacts of a Marcellus shale gas well.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Mohan; Hendrickson, Chris T; VanBriesen, Jeanne M

    2014-01-01

    This study estimates the life cycle water consumption and wastewater generation impacts of a Marcellus shale gas well from its construction to end of life. Direct water consumption at the well site was assessed by analysis of data from approximately 500 individual well completion reports collected in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Indirect water consumption for supply chain production at each life cycle stage of the well was estimated using the economic input-output life cycle assessment (EIO-LCA) method. Life cycle direct and indirect water quality pollution impacts were assessed and compared using the tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts (TRACI). Wastewater treatment cost was proposed as an additional indicator for water quality pollution impacts from shale gas well wastewater. Four water management scenarios for Marcellus shale well wastewater were assessed: current conditions in Pennsylvania; complete discharge; direct reuse and desalination; and complete desalination. The results show that under the current conditions, an average Marcellus shale gas well consumes 20,000 m(3) (with a range from 6700 to 33,000 m(3)) of freshwater per well over its life cycle excluding final gas utilization, with 65% direct water consumption at the well site and 35% indirect water consumption across the supply chain production. If all flowback and produced water is released into the environment without treatment, direct wastewater from a Marcellus shale gas well is estimated to have 300-3000 kg N-eq eutrophication potential, 900-23,000 kg 2,4D-eq freshwater ecotoxicity potential, 0-370 kg benzene-eq carcinogenic potential, and 2800-71,000 MT toluene-eq noncarcinogenic potential. The potential toxicity of the chemicals in the wastewater from the well site exceeds those associated with supply chain production, except for carcinogenic effects. If all the Marcellus shale well wastewater is

  19. Modeling of Gas Production from Shale Reservoirs Considering Multiple Transport Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Guo, Chaohua; Wei, Mingzhen; Liu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Gas transport in unconventional shale strata is a multi-mechanism-coupling process that is different from the process observed in conventional reservoirs. In micro fractures which are inborn or induced by hydraulic stimulation, viscous flow dominates. And gas surface diffusion and gas desorption should be further considered in organic nano pores. Also, the Klinkenberg effect should be considered when dealing with the gas transport problem. In addition, following two factors can play significant roles under certain circumstances but have not received enough attention in previous models. During pressure depletion, gas viscosity will change with Knudsen number; and pore radius will increase when the adsorption gas desorbs from the pore wall. In this paper, a comprehensive mathematical model that incorporates all known mechanisms for simulating gas flow in shale strata is presented. The objective of this study was to provide a more accurate reservoir model for simulation based on the flow mechanisms in the pore scale and formation geometry. Complex mechanisms, including viscous flow, Knudsen diffusion, slip flow, and desorption, are optionally integrated into different continua in the model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the effect of different mechanisms on the gas production. The results showed that adsorption and gas viscosity change will have a great impact on gas production. Ignoring one of following scenarios, such as adsorption, gas permeability change, gas viscosity change, or pore radius change, will underestimate gas production.

  20. Modeling of Gas Production from Shale Reservoirs Considering Multiple Transport Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chaohua; Wei, Mingzhen; Liu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Gas transport in unconventional shale strata is a multi-mechanism-coupling process that is different from the process observed in conventional reservoirs. In micro fractures which are inborn or induced by hydraulic stimulation, viscous flow dominates. And gas surface diffusion and gas desorption should be further considered in organic nano pores. Also, the Klinkenberg effect should be considered when dealing with the gas transport problem. In addition, following two factors can play significant roles under certain circumstances but have not received enough attention in previous models. During pressure depletion, gas viscosity will change with Knudsen number; and pore radius will increase when the adsorption gas desorbs from the pore wall. In this paper, a comprehensive mathematical model that incorporates all known mechanisms for simulating gas flow in shale strata is presented. The objective of this study was to provide a more accurate reservoir model for simulation based on the flow mechanisms in the pore scale and formation geometry. Complex mechanisms, including viscous flow, Knudsen diffusion, slip flow, and desorption, are optionally integrated into different continua in the model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate the effect of different mechanisms on the gas production. The results showed that adsorption and gas viscosity change will have a great impact on gas production. Ignoring one of following scenarios, such as adsorption, gas permeability change, gas viscosity change, or pore radius change, will underestimate gas production. PMID:26657698

  1. Drought Resilience of Water Supplies for Shale Gas Extraction and Related Power Generation in Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reedy, R. C.; Scanlon, B. R.; Nicot, J. P.; Uhlman, K.

    2014-12-01

    There is considerable concern about water availability to support energy production in Texas, particularly considering that many of the shale plays are in semiarid areas of Texas and the state experienced the most extreme drought on record in 2011. The Eagle Ford shale play provides an excellent case study. Hydraulic fracturing water use for shale gas extraction in the play totaled ~ 12 billion gallons (bgal) in 2012, representing ~7 - 10% of total water use in the 16 county play area. The dominant source of water is groundwater which is not highly vulnerable to drought from a recharge perspective because water is primarily stored in the confined portion of aquifers that were recharged thousands of years ago. Water supply drought vulnerability results primarily from increased water use for irrigation. Irrigation water use in the Eagle Ford play was 30 billion gallons higher in the 2011 drought year relative to 2010. Recent trends toward increased use of brackish groundwater for shale gas extraction in the Eagle Ford also reduce pressure on fresh water resources. Evaluating the impacts of natural gas development on water resources should consider the use of natural gas in power generation, which now represents 50% of power generation in Texas. Water consumed in extracting the natural gas required for power generation is equivalent to ~7% of the water consumed in cooling these power plants in the state. However, natural gas production from shale plays can be overall beneficial in terms of water resources in the state because natural gas combined cycle power generation decreases water consumption by ~60% relative to traditional coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants that use steam turbine generation. This reduced water consumption enhances drought resilience of power generation in the state. In addition, natural gas combined cycle plants provide peaking capacity that complements increasing renewable wind generation which has no cooling water requirement. However, water

  2. Seepage flow behaviors of multi-stage fractured horizontal wells in arbitrary shaped shale gas reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yu-Long; Shan, Bao-Chao; Zhang, Lie-Hui; Liu, Qi-Guo

    2016-10-01

    The horizontal well incorporated with massive hydraulic fracturing has become a key and necessary technology to develop shale gas reservoirs efficiently, and transient pressure analysis is a practical method to evaluate the effectiveness of the fracturing. Until now, however, the related studies on the pressure of such wells have mainly focused on regular outer-boundaries, such as infinite, circular and rectangular boundary shapes, which do not always fulfill the practical conditions and, of course, could cause errors. By extending the boundary element method (BEM) into the application of multi-staged fractured horizontal wells, this paper presents a way of analyzing the transient pressure in arbitrary shaped shale gas reservoirs considering ad-/de-sorption and diffusion of the shale gas with the ‘tri-porosity’ mechanism model. The boundary integral equation can be obtained by coupling the fundamental solution of the Helmholtz equation with the dimensionless diffusivity equation. After discretizing the outer-boundaries and the fractures, the boundary integral equations are linearized and the coefficient matrix of the pressure on the boundaries is assembled, after which bottom-hole pressure can be calculated conveniently. Comparing the BEM solution with semi-analytical solution cases, the accuracy of the new solution can be validated. Then, the characteristic curves of the dimensionless pseudo pressure, as well as its derivative for a well in shale gas reservoirs, are drawn, based on which the parameters’ sensitivity analyses are also conducted. This paper not only enriches the well testing theory and method in shale gas reservoirs, but also provides an effective method to solve problems with complex inner- and outer-boundaries.

  3. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2003-02-11

    Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales of Devonian age. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are generally thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to the way methane is stored in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane at a ratio of two to one. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. If black shales similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}, the shales may be an excellent sink for CO{sub 2} with the added benefit of serving to enhance natural gas production. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject this research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores will be selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. CO{sub 2} adsorption analyses will be performed in order to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, new drill cuttings and sidewall core samples will be acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their uptake of CO{sub 2}, and the resultant displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) will be used to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements.

  4. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2003-04-28

    Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales of Devonian age. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are generally thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to the way methane is stored in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane at a ratio of two to one. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. If black shales similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}, the shales may be an excellent sink for CO{sub 2} with the added benefit of serving to enhance natural gas production. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject this research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores will be selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. CO{sub 2} adsorption analyses will be performed in order to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, new drill cuttings and sidewall core samples will be acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their uptake of CO{sub 2}, and the resultant displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) will be used to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements.

  5. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2003-02-10

    Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales of Devonian age. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are generally thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to the way methane is stored in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane at a ratio of two to one. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. If black shales similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}, the shales may be an excellent sink for CO{sub 2} with the added benefit of serving to enhance natural gas production. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject this research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores will be selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. CO{sub 2} adsorption analyses will be performed in order to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, new drill cuttings and sidewall core samples will be acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their uptake of CO{sub 2}, and the resultant displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) will be used to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements.

  6. Estimating emissions of toxic hydrocarbons from natural gas production sites in the Barnett Shale region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marrero, J. E.; Townsend-Small, A.; Lyon, D. R.; Tsai, T.; Meinardi, S.; Blake, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Throughout the past decade, shale gas operations have moved closer to urban centers and densely populated areas, contributing to growing public concerns regarding exposure to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). These HAPs include gases like hexane, 1,3-butadiene and BTEX compounds, which can cause minor health effects from short-term exposure or possibly cancer due to prolonged exposure. During the Barnett Shale Coordinated Campaign in October, 2013, ground-based whole air samples revealed enhancements in several of these toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) downwind of natural gas well pads and compressor stations. Two methods were used to estimate the emission rate of several HAPs in the Barnett Shale. The first method utilized CH4 flux measurements derived from the Picarro Mobile Flux Plane (MFP) and taken concurrently with whole air samples, while the second used a CH4 emissions inventory developed for the Barnett Shale region. From these two approaches, the regional emission estimate for benzene (C6H6) ranged from 48 ± 16 to 84 ± 26 kg C6H6 hr-1. A significant regional source of atmospheric benzene is evident, despite measurement uncertainty and limited number of samples. The extent to which these emission rates equate to a larger public health risk is unclear, but is of particular interest as natural gas productions continues to expand.

  7. Experimental research of gas shale electrical properties by NMR and the combination of imbibition and drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Xu; Sun, Jianmeng; Li, Jun; Gao, Hui; Liu, Xuefeng; Wang, Jinjie

    2015-08-01

    Gas shale has shown considerable force in gas production worldwide, but little attention has been paid to its electrical properties, which are essential for reservoir evaluation and differentiating absorbed gas and free gas. In this study, experiments are designed to research water saturation establishment methods and electrical properties of gas shale. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with short echo space (TE) is used to identify water saturation and distribution of saturated pores which contribute to the conductivity. The experimental results indicate that NMR with shorter TE can estimate porosity and fluid distribution better than NMR with longer TE. A full range of water saturation is established by the combination of new-type spontaneous imbibition and semi-permeable plate drainage techniques. Spontaneous imbibition gains water saturation from 0% to near irreducible water saturation, and, semi-permeable plate drainage desaturates from 100% to irreducible water saturation. The RI-Sw curve shows a nonlinear relationship, and can be divided into three parts with different behaviors. The comparative analysis of transverse relaxation time (T2) distribution and RI-Sw curves, indicates that free water, and water trapped by capillarity in the non-clay matrix, differ in terms of electrical conductivity from water absorbed in clay. The new experiments prove the applicability of imbibition, drainage and NMR in investigating electrical properties of gas shale and differentiating fluid distribution which makes contribution to conductivity.

  8. Porosity of coal and shale: Insights from gas adsorption and SANS/USANS techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Mastalerz, Maria; He, Lilin; Melnichenko, Yuri B; Rupp, John A

    2012-01-01

    Two Pennsylvanian coal samples (Spr326 and Spr879-IN1) and two Upper Devonian-Mississippian shale samples (MM1 and MM3) from the Illinois Basin were studied with regard to their porosity and pore accessibility. Shale samples are early mature stage as indicated by vitrinite reflectance (R{sub o}) values of 0.55% for MM1 and 0.62% for MM3. The coal samples studied are of comparable maturity to the shale samples, having vitrinite reflectance of 0.52% (Spr326) and 0.62% (Spr879-IN1). Gas (N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}) adsorption and small-angle and ultrasmall-angle neutron scattering techniques (SANS/USANS) were used to understand differences in the porosity characteristics of the samples. The results demonstrate that there is a major difference in mesopore (2-50 nm) size distribution between the coal and shale samples, while there was a close similarity in micropore (<2 nm) size distribution. Micropore and mesopore volumes correlate with organic matter content in the samples. Accessibility of pores in coal is pore-size specific and can vary significantly between coal samples; also, higher accessibility corresponds to higher adsorption capacity. Accessibility of pores in shale samples is low.

  9. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brittingham, Margaret C.; Maloney, Kelly O.; Farag, Aida M.; Harper, David D.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2014-01-01

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

  10. Ecological risks of shale oil and gas development to wildlife, aquatic resources and their habitats.

    PubMed

    Brittingham, Margaret C; Maloney, Kelly O; Farag, Aïda M; Harper, David D; Bowen, Zachary H

    2014-10-07

    Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to the exploration and exploitation of shale oil and gas both nationally and internationally. Extensive development of shale resources has occurred within the United States over the past decade, yet full build out is not expected to occur for years. Moreover, countries across the globe have large shale resources and are beginning to explore extraction of these resources. Extraction of shale resources is a multistep process that includes site identification, well pad and infrastructure development, well drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing and production; each with its own propensity to affect associated ecosystems. Some potential effects, for example from well pad, road and pipeline development, will likely be similar to other anthropogenic activities like conventional gas drilling, land clearing, exurban and agricultural development and surface mining (e.g., habitat fragmentation and sedimentation). Therefore, we can use the large body of literature available on the ecological effects of these activities to estimate potential effects from shale development on nearby ecosystems. However, other effects, such as accidental release of wastewaters, are novel to the shale gas extraction process making it harder to predict potential outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge of the effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the contiguous United States, an area that includes 20 shale plays many of which have experienced extensive development over the past decade. We conclude that species and habitats most at risk are ones where there is an extensive overlap between a species range or habitat type and one of the shale plays (leading to high vulnerability) coupled with intrinsic characteristics such as limited range, small population size, specialized habitat requirements, and high sensitivity to disturbance

  11. Variations of Carbon Isotopes during Shale Gas Production from the Horn River Basin, British Columbia, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norville, G.; Muehlenbachs, K.

    2014-12-01

    Chemical and stable isotope compositions of natural gases are key parameters for characterizing gas and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Produced gases were obtained from eight wells at multi-well pad sites located in the Horn River Basin (HRB), NE British Columbia. Shale gas wells were drilled and completed in the Devonian Muskwa, Otter Park and Evie Formations of the HRB, and gases collected as time series over short term (~50 days) and long term periods (~ 1250 days). δ13C of gases from HRB formations confirm high thermal maturity and the shale gases frequently showed partial or full isotope reversals among hydrocarbon components. A 10‰ variation in δ13C values of methane was observed during production. In general, during early phases of production shale gases appear enriched in 12C compared to gases sampled at later stages and δ13Cmethane values were approximately between -38‰ and -35‰ during times up to 50 days. The majority of cases of carbon isotope reversals between methane and ethane components of gases (δ13Cmethane > δ13Cethane) were observed at times greater than 100 days, while ethane and propane reversals were common throughout production. Gas production rates differed significantly among the sampled wells from ~ 50 to 400 e3m3/d. Higher rates were frequently associated with gases showing 12Cmethane enrichment. Subsequent to periods of well 'shut in' a change in the carbon isotope composition was detected with enrichment in 13Cmethane of gases. Carbon isotope signatures of produced gases likely reflect a combination of both the in-situ shale gas isotope signature as well as effects of isotope fractionation which may occur during transport through pores and fractures of the shale.

  12. Evolving shale gas management: water resource risks, impacts, and lessons learned.

    PubMed

    Rahm, Brian G; Riha, Susan J

    2014-05-01

    Unconventional shale gas development promises to significantly alter energy portfolios and economies around the world. It also poses a variety of environmental risks, particularly with respect to the management of water resources. We review current scientific understanding of risks associated with the following: water withdrawals for hydraulic fracturing; wastewater treatment, discharge and disposal; methane and fluid migration in the subsurface; and spills and erosion at the surface. Some of these risks are relatively unique to shale gas development, while others are variations of risks that we already face from a variety of industries and activities. All of these risks depend largely on the pace and scale of development that occurs within a particular region. We focus on the United States, where the shale gas boom has been on-going for several years, paying particular attention to the Marcellus Shale, where a majority of peer-reviewed study has taken place. Governments, regulatory agencies, industry, and other stakeholders are challenged with responding to these risks, and we discuss policies and practices that have been adopted or considered by these various groups. Adaptive Management, a structured framework for addressing complex environmental issues, is discussed as a way to reduce polarization of important discussions on risk, and to more formally engage science in policy-making, along with other economic, social and value considerations. Data suggests that some risks can be substantially reduced through policy and best practice, but also that significant uncertainty persists regarding other risks. We suggest that monitoring and data collection related to water resource risks be established as part of planning for shale gas development before activity begins, and that resources are allocated to provide for appropriate oversight at various levels of governance.

  13. An Economic and Ecologic Comparison of the Nuclear Stimulation of Natural Gas Fields with Retorting of Oil Shale

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-06-06

    GAS III. ECOLOGIC CONSIDERATIONS OIL SHALE Revegetation Air Water Wildlife , NUCLEAR STIMULATION IV. ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS...the surface. The second variable in this com- parison will be the major ecological problem generated by the production of tritiated water and air as...8217. ■■■-■-■■^’’.■■ammmm wmsmtr ’ . „W^W-n—^r^ ■ , ,-, . • ,,, , 16 PRODUCT GAS -*- RECYCLE GAS BLOWER AIR DUST AW) OIL MIST REMOVAL SHALE

  14. Dissolution of cemented fractures in gas bearing shales in the context of CO2 sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwiatkowski, Kamil; Szymczak, Piotr

    2016-04-01

    Carbon dioxide has a stronger binding than methane to the organic matter contained in the matrix of shale rocks [1]. Thus, the injection of CO2 into shale formation may enhance the production rate and total amount of produced methane, and simultaneously permanently store pumped CO2. Carbon dioxide can be injected during the initial fracking stage as CO2 based hydraulic fracturing, and/or later, as a part of enhanced gas recovery (EGR) [2]. Economic and environmental benefits makes CO2 sequestration in shales potentially very for industrial-scale operation [3]. However, the effective process requires large area of fracture-matrix interface, where CO2 and CH4 can be exchanged. Usually natural fractures, existing in shale formation, are preferentially reactivated during hydraulic fracturing, thus they considerably contribute to the flow paths in the resulting fracture system [4]. Unfortunately, very often these natural fractures are sealed by calcite [5]. Consequently the layer of calcite coating surfaces impedes exchange of gases, both CO2 and CH4, between shale matrix and fracture. In this communication we address the question whether carbonic acid, formed when CO2 is mixed with brine, is able to effectively dissolve a calcite layer present in the natural fractures. We investigate numerically fluid flow and dissolution of calcite coating in natural shale fractures, with CO2-brine mixture as a reactive fluid. Moreover, we discuss the differences between slow dissolution (driven by carbonic acid) and fast dissolution (driven by stronger hydrochloric acid) of calcite layer. We compare an impact of the flow rate and geometry of the fracture on the parameters of practical importance: available surface area, morphology of dissolution front, time scale of the dissolution, and the penetration length. We investigate whether the dissolution is sufficiently non-uniform to retain the fracture permeability, even in the absence of the proppant. The sizes of analysed fractures

  15. Albany v. 3.0

    SciTech Connect

    Salinger, Andrew; Phipps, Eric; Ostien, Jakob; Hansen, Glen; Mota, Alejandro; Foulk, James; Jones, Reese; Littlewood, David; Muller, Richard; Nielsen, Erik; Gao, Xujiao; Tezaur, Irina K.; Perego, Mauro; Bradley, Andrew M.; Foucar, James; Robbins, Joshua; Voth, Thomas E.; Spotz, William; Demeshko, Irina; Siefert, Christopher; Overfelt, James R.; Bova, Steven W.; Smith, Tom; Tuminaro, Ray; Granzow, Brian; Ibanez, Dan; Seol, Seegyoung; Bloomfield, Max; Sun, WaiChing; Chen, Qiushi; Cortial, Julien

    2016-01-13

    The Albany code is a general-purpose finite element code for solving partial differential equations (PDEs). Albany is a research code that demonstrates how a PDE code can be built by interfacing many of the open-source software libraries that are released under Sandia's Trilinos project. Part of the mission of Albany is to be a testbed for new Trilinos libraries, to refine their methods, usability, and interfaces. Albany includes hooks to optimization and uncertainty quantification algorithms, including those in Trilinos as well as those in the Dakota toolkit. Because of this, Albany is a desirable starting point for new code development efforts that wish to make heavy use of Trilinos. Albany is both a framework and the host for specific finite element applications. These applications have project names, and can be controlled by configuration option when the code is compiled, but are all developed and released as part of the single Albany code base, These include LCM, QCAD, FELIX, Aeras, and ATO applications.

  16. Evaluating the performance of hydraulically-fractured shale gas resources in the Appalachian Basin (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakala, A.; Wall, A. J.; Guthrie, G.

    2013-12-01

    Evaluating the performance of engineered-natural systems, such as hydraulically-fractured shales associated with natural gas recovery, depends on an understanding of fracture growth within and outside of the target shale formation, as well as the potential for gas and fluids to migrate to other subsurface resources or underground sources of drinking water. The NETL-Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA) has a broad research portfolio connected with development of hydraulically-fractured shale resources in the Appalachian Basin. Through a combined field, experimental, modeling, and existing data evaluation effort, the following questions are being addressed: 1) Which subsurface features control the extent to which fractures migrate out of the target fracture zone? 2) Can we improve methods for analyzing natural geochemical tracers? What combination of natural and synthetic tracers can best be used to evaluate subsurface fluid and gas migration? 3) How is wellbore integrity affected by existing shallow gas? Can we predict how shallow groundwater hydrology changes due to drilling? 4) Where are existing wellbores and natural fractures located? What field methods can be used to identify the location of existing wells? To date the NETL-RUA team has focused on four key areas: fracture growth, natural isotopic tracers, impacts of well drilling on shallow hydrology, and statistics on wellbores (locations and conditions). We have found that fracture growth is sensitive to overburden geomechanical features, and that the maximum fracture height outside of the Marcellus Shale aligns with prior assessments (e.g., Fisher et al., 2012). The team has also developed methodologies for the rapid preparation of produced-water samples by MC-ICP-MS and ICP-MS; we are using these methodologies to investigate the potential of key geochemical indicators and species of interest (Sr, Ra) as indicators of fluid and gas migration in the Appalachian Basin. Experimental work on subsurface

  17. A Tale of Two Regions: Landscape Ecological Planning for Shale Gas Energy Futures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murtha, T., Jr.; Schroth, O.; Orland, B.; Goldberg, L.; Mazurczyk, T.

    2015-12-01

    As we increasingly embrace deep shale gas deposits to meet global energy demands new and dispersed local and regional policy and planning challenges emerge. Even in regions with long histories of energy extraction, such as coal, shale gas and the infrastructure needed to produce the gas and transport it to market offers uniquely complex transformations in land use and landcover not previously experienced. These transformations are fast paced, dispersed and can overwhelm local and regional planning and regulatory processes. Coupled to these transformations is a structural confounding factor. While extraction and testing are carried out locally, regulation and decision-making is multilayered, often influenced by national and international factors. Using a geodesign framework, this paper applies a set of geospatial landscape ecological planning tools in two shale gas settings. First, we describe and detail a series of ongoing studies and tools that we have developed for communities in the Marcellus Shale region of the eastern United States, specifically the northern tier of Pennsylvania. Second, we apply a subset of these tools to potential gas development areas of the Fylde region in Lancashire, United Kingdom. For the past five years we have tested, applied and refined a set of place based and data driven geospatial models for forecasting, envisioning, analyzing and evaluating shale gas activities in northern Pennsylvania. These models are continuously compared to important landscape ecological planning challenges and priorities in the region, e.g. visual and cultural resource preservation. Adapting and applying these tools to a different landscape allow us to not only isolate and define important regulatory and policy exigencies in each specific setting, but also to develop and refine these models for broader application. As we continue to explore increasingly complex energy solutions globally, we need an equally complex comparative set of landscape ecological

  18. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2004-01-01

    CO{sub 2} emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have been linked to global climate change. Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, sequestration strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky than in central Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to methane storage in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject of current research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores were selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. Methane and carbon dioxide adsorption analyses are being performed to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, sidewall core samples are being acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their potential CO{sub 2} uptake, and the resulting displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) are being investigated for possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements. For the Devonian shale, average total organic carbon is 3.71 (as received) and mean random vitrinite reflectance is 1.16. Measured adsorption isotherm data range from 37.5 to 2,077.6 standard cubic feet of CO{sub 2} per ton (scf/ton) of

  19. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2003-10-29

    CO{sub 2} emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have been linked to global climate change. Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, sequestration strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky than in central Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to methane storage in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject of current research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores were selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. Methane and carbon dioxide adsorption analyses are being performed to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, sidewall core samples are being acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their potential CO{sub 2} uptake, and the resulting displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) are being investigated for possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements. For the Devonian shale, average total organic carbon is 3.71 (as received) and mean random vitrinite reflectance is 1.16. Measured adsorption isotherm data range from 37.5 to 2,077.6 standard cubic feet of CO{sub 2} per ton (scf/ton) of

  20. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2004-04-01

    CO{sub 2} emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have been linked to global climate change. Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, sequestration strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky than in central Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to methane storage in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject of current research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores were selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. Methane and carbon dioxide adsorption analyses are being performed to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, sidewall core samples are being acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their potential CO{sub 2} uptake, and the resulting displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) are being investigated for possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements. For the Devonian shale, average total organic carbon is 3.71 percent (as received) and mean random vitrinite reflectance is 1.16. Measured adsorption isotherm data range from 37.5 to 2,077.6 standard cubic feet of CO{sub 2} per ton (scf

  1. Is shale gas drilling an energy solution or public health crisis?

    PubMed

    Rafferty, Margaret A; Limonik, Elena

    2013-01-01

    High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, a controversial new mining technique used to drill for shale gas, is being implemented worldwide. Chemicals used in the process are known neurotoxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors. People who live near shale gas drilling sites report symptoms that they attribute to contaminated air and water. When they seek help from clinicians, a diagnosis is often elusive because the chemicals to which the patients have been exposed are a closely guarded trade secret. Many nurses have voiced grave concern about shale gas drilling safety. Full disclosure of the chemicals used in the process is necessary in order for nurses and other health professionals to effectively care for patients. The economic exuberance surrounding natural gas has resulted in insufficient scrutiny into the health implications. Nursing research aimed at determining what effect unconventional drilling has on human health could help fill that gap. Public health nurses using the precautionary principle should advocate for a more concerted transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Any initiation or further expansion of unconventional gas drilling must be preceded by a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA).

  2. Sweet spots discrimination in shale gas reservoirs using seismic and well-logs data. A case study from the Worth basin in the Barnett shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliouane, Leila; Ouadfeul, Sid-Ali; Boudella, Amar

    2014-05-01

    Here, we present a case study of sweet spots discrimination in shale gas reservoirs located in the Worth basin of the Barnett shale using seismic and well-logs data. Seismic attributes such the Chaos and the ANT-Tracking are used for natural fractures system identification from seismic data, the maps of the stress and the Poisson ratio obtained from the upscaling of well-logs data of a horizontal well are able to provide an information about the drilling direction which is usually in the minimum horizontal stress profile, the map of the Poisson ratio can provide an information hardness of the source rock. The set of well logs data is used for geo-mechanical and petrophysical discrimination of the sweet spots, after discrimination the identified zones are useful for reserves estimation from unconventional shale gas reservoir.

  3. Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development

    PubMed Central

    Llewellyn, Garth T.; Dorman, Frank; Westland, J. L.; Yoxtheimer, D.; Grieve, Paul; Sowers, Todd; Humston-Fulmer, E.; Brantley, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    High-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) has revolutionized the oil and gas industry worldwide but has been accompanied by highly controversial incidents of reported water contamination. For example, groundwater contamination by stray natural gas and spillage of brine and other gas drilling-related fluids is known to occur. However, contamination of shallow potable aquifers by HVHF at depth has never been fully documented. We investigated a case where Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania caused inundation of natural gas and foam in initially potable groundwater used by several households. With comprehensive 2D gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS), an unresolved complex mixture of organic compounds was identified in the aquifer. Similar signatures were also observed in flowback from Marcellus Shale gas wells. A compound identified in flowback, 2-n-Butoxyethanol, was also positively identified in one of the foaming drinking water wells at nanogram-per-liter concentrations. The most likely explanation of the incident is that stray natural gas and drilling or HF compounds were driven ∼1–3 km along shallow to intermediate depth fractures to the aquifer used as a potable water source. Part of the problem may have been wastewaters from a pit leak reported at the nearest gas well pad—the only nearby pad where wells were hydraulically fractured before the contamination incident. If samples of drilling, pit, and HVHF fluids had been available, GCxGC-TOFMS might have fingerprinted the contamination source. Such evaluations would contribute significantly to better management practices as the shale gas industry expands worldwide. PMID:25941400

  4. Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development.

    PubMed

    Llewellyn, Garth T; Dorman, Frank; Westland, J L; Yoxtheimer, D; Grieve, Paul; Sowers, Todd; Humston-Fulmer, E; Brantley, Susan L

    2015-05-19

    High-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) has revolutionized the oil and gas industry worldwide but has been accompanied by highly controversial incidents of reported water contamination. For example, groundwater contamination by stray natural gas and spillage of brine and other gas drilling-related fluids is known to occur. However, contamination of shallow potable aquifers by HVHF at depth has never been fully documented. We investigated a case where Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania caused inundation of natural gas and foam in initially potable groundwater used by several households. With comprehensive 2D gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS), an unresolved complex mixture of organic compounds was identified in the aquifer. Similar signatures were also observed in flowback from Marcellus Shale gas wells. A compound identified in flowback, 2-n-Butoxyethanol, was also positively identified in one of the foaming drinking water wells at nanogram-per-liter concentrations. The most likely explanation of the incident is that stray natural gas and drilling or HF compounds were driven ∼ 1-3 km along shallow to intermediate depth fractures to the aquifer used as a potable water source. Part of the problem may have been wastewaters from a pit leak reported at the nearest gas well pad-the only nearby pad where wells were hydraulically fractured before the contamination incident. If samples of drilling, pit, and HVHF fluids had been available, GCxGC-TOFMS might have fingerprinted the contamination source. Such evaluations would contribute significantly to better management practices as the shale gas industry expands worldwide.

  5. Cliffs Minerals, Inc. Eastern Gas Shales Project, Ohio No. 5 well - Lorain County. Phase II report. Preliminary laboratory results

    SciTech Connect

    1980-04-01

    The US Department of Energy is funding a research and development program entitled the Eastern Gas Shales Project designed to increase commercial production of natural gas in the eastern United States from Middle and Upper Devonian Shales. The program's objectives are as follows: (1) to evaluate recoverable reserves of gas contained in the shales; (2) to enhanced recovery technology for production from shale gas reservoirs; and (3) to stimulate interest among commercial gas suppliers in the concept of producing large quantities of gas from low-yield, shallow Devonian Shale wells. The EGSP-Ohio No. 5 well was cored under a cooperative cost-sharing agreement between the Department of Energy (METC) and Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation. Detailed characterization of the core was performed at the Eastern Gas Shale Project's Core Laboratory. At the well site, suites of wet and dry hole geophysical logs were run. Characterization work performed at the Laboratory included photographic logs, lithologic logs, fracture logs, measurements of core color variation, and stratigraphic interpretation of the cored intervals. In addition samples were tested for physical properties by Michigan Technological University. Physical properties data obtained were for: directional ultrasonic velocity; directional tensile strength; strength in point load; and trends of microfractures.

  6. Investigating the Fate of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Shale Gas Formations Through Two-Phase Numerical Modelling of Fluid Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, R.; Doster, F.; Celia, M. A.; Bandilla, K.

    2015-12-01

    The process of hydraulic fracturing in shale gas formations typically involves the injection of large quantities of water-based fluid (2×107L typical) into the shale formations in order to fracture the rock. A large proportion of the fracturing fluids injected into shale gas wells during hydraulic fracturing does not return out of the well once production begins. The percentage of water returning varies within and between different shale plays, but is generally around 30%. The large proportion of the fluid that does not return raises the possibility that it could migrate out of the target shale formation and potentially toward aquifers and the surface through pathways such as the created hydraulic fractures, faults and adjacent wells. A leading hypothesis for the fate of the remaining fracturing fluid is that it is spontaneously imbibed from the hydraulic fractures into the shale rock matrix due to the low water saturation and very high capillary pressure in the shale. The imbibition hypothesis is assessed using numerical modeling of the two-phase flow of fracturing fluid and gas in the shale during injection. The model incorporates relevant two-phase physical phenomena such as capillarity and relative permeability, including hysteretic behavior in both. Modeling scenarios for fracturing fluid injection were assessed under varying conditions for shale reservoir parameters and spatial heterogeneities in permeability and wettability. The results showed that the unaccounted fracturing fluid may plausibly be imbibed into the shale matrix under certain conditions, and that significant small-scale spatial heterogeneity in the shale permeability likely plays an important role in imbibing the fracturing fluid.

  7. Applying probabilistic well-performance parameters to assessments of shale-gas resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy

    2010-01-01

    In assessing continuous oil and gas resources, such as shale gas, it is important to describe not only the ultimately producible volumes, but also the expected well performance. This description is critical to any cost analysis or production scheduling. A probabilistic approach facilitates (1) the inclusion of variability in well performance within a continuous accumulation, and (2) the use of data from developed accumulations as analogs for the assessment of undeveloped accumulations. In assessing continuous oil and gas resources of the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed production data from many shale-gas accumulations. Analyses of four of these accumulations (the Barnett, Woodford, Fayetteville, and Haynesville shales) are presented here as examples of the variability of well performance. For example, the distribution of initial monthly production rates for Barnett vertical wells shows a noticeable change with time, first increasing because of improved completion practices, then decreasing from a combination of decreased reservoir pressure (in infill wells) and drilling in less productive areas. Within a partially developed accumulation, historical production data from that accumulation can be used to estimate production characteristics of undrilled areas. An understanding of the probabilistic relations between variables, such as between initial production and decline rates, can improve estimates of ultimate production. Time trends or spatial trends in production data can be clarified by plots and maps. The data can also be divided into subsets depending on well-drilling or well-completion techniques, such as vertical in relation to horizontal wells. For hypothetical or lightly developed accumulations, one can either make comparisons to a specific well-developed accumulation or to the entire range of available developed accumulations. Comparison of the distributions of initial monthly production rates of the four shale-gas accumulations that were

  8. Shale Gas Development and Brook Trout: Scaling Best Management Practices to Anticipate Cumulative Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, David; Snyder, Craig D.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Young, John A.; Faulkner, Stephen P.

    2012-01-01

    Shale gas development may involve trade-offs between energy development and benefits provided by natural ecosystems. However, current best management practices (BMPs) focus on mitigating localized ecological degradation. We review evidence for cumulative effects of natural gas development on brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and conclude that BMPs should account for potential watershed-scale effects in addition to localized influences. The challenge is to develop BMPs in the face of uncertainty in the predicted response of brook trout to landscape-scale disturbance caused by gas extraction. We propose a decision-analysis approach to formulating BMPs in the specific case of relatively undisturbed watersheds where there is consensus to maintain brook trout populations during gas development. The decision analysis was informed by existing empirical models that describe brook trout occupancy responses to landscape disturbance and set bounds on the uncertainty in the predicted responses to shale gas development. The decision analysis showed that a high efficiency of gas development (e.g., 1 well pad per square mile and 7 acres per pad) was critical to achieving a win-win solution characterized by maintaining brook trout and maximizing extraction of available gas. This finding was invariant to uncertainty in predicted response of brook trout to watershed-level disturbance. However, as the efficiency of gas development decreased, the optimal BMP depended on the predicted response, and there was considerable potential value in discriminating among predictive models through adaptive management or research. The proposed decision-analysis framework provides an opportunity to anticipate the cumulative effects of shale gas development, account for uncertainty, and inform management decisions at the appropriate spatial scales.

  9. Experimental investigation on the coupled effect of effective stress and gas slippage on the permeability of shale

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Diansen; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weizhong; Wang, Shugang; Wang, Xiaoqiong

    2017-01-01

    Permeability is one of the most important parameters to evaluate gas production in shale reservoirs. Because shale permeability is extremely low, gas is often used in the laboratory to measure permeability. However, the measured apparent gas permeability is higher than the intrinsic permeability due to the gas slippage effect, which could be even more dominant for materials with nanopores. Increasing gas pressure during tests reduces gas slippage effect, but it also decreases the effective stress which in turn influences the permeability. The coupled effect of gas slippage and effective stress on shale permeability remains unclear. Here we perform laboratory experiments on Longmaxi shale specimens to explore the coupled effect. We use the pressure transient method to measure permeability under different stress and pressure conditions. Our results reveal that the apparent measured permeability is controlled by these two competing effects. With increasing gas pressure, there exists a pressure threshold at which the dominant effect on permeability switches from gas slippage to effective stress. Based on the Klinkenberg model, we propose a new conceptual model that incorporates both competing effects. Combining microstructure analysis, we further discuss the roles of stress, gas pressure and water contents on gas permeability of shale. PMID:28304395

  10. Experimental investigation on the coupled effect of effective stress and gas slippage on the permeability of shale.

    PubMed

    Yang, Diansen; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weizhong; Wang, Shugang; Wang, Xiaoqiong

    2017-03-17

    Permeability is one of the most important parameters to evaluate gas production in shale reservoirs. Because shale permeability is extremely low, gas is often used in the laboratory to measure permeability. However, the measured apparent gas permeability is higher than the intrinsic permeability due to the gas slippage effect, which could be even more dominant for materials with nanopores. Increasing gas pressure during tests reduces gas slippage effect, but it also decreases the effective stress which in turn influences the permeability. The coupled effect of gas slippage and effective stress on shale permeability remains unclear. Here we perform laboratory experiments on Longmaxi shale specimens to explore the coupled effect. We use the pressure transient method to measure permeability under different stress and pressure conditions. Our results reveal that the apparent measured permeability is controlled by these two competing effects. With increasing gas pressure, there exists a pressure threshold at which the dominant effect on permeability switches from gas slippage to effective stress. Based on the Klinkenberg model, we propose a new conceptual model that incorporates both competing effects. Combining microstructure analysis, we further discuss the roles of stress, gas pressure and water contents on gas permeability of shale.

  11. Experimental investigation on the coupled effect of effective stress and gas slippage on the permeability of shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Diansen; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weizhong; Wang, Shugang; Wang, Xiaoqiong

    2017-03-01

    Permeability is one of the most important parameters to evaluate gas production in shale reservoirs. Because shale permeability is extremely low, gas is often used in the laboratory to measure permeability. However, the measured apparent gas permeability is higher than the intrinsic permeability due to the gas slippage effect, which could be even more dominant for materials with nanopores. Increasing gas pressure during tests reduces gas slippage effect, but it also decreases the effective stress which in turn influences the permeability. The coupled effect of gas slippage and effective stress on shale permeability remains unclear. Here we perform laboratory experiments on Longmaxi shale specimens to explore the coupled effect. We use the pressure transient method to measure permeability under different stress and pressure conditions. Our results reveal that the apparent measured permeability is controlled by these two competing effects. With increasing gas pressure, there exists a pressure threshold at which the dominant effect on permeability switches from gas slippage to effective stress. Based on the Klinkenberg model, we propose a new conceptual model that incorporates both competing effects. Combining microstructure analysis, we further discuss the roles of stress, gas pressure and water contents on gas permeability of shale.

  12. Assessment of Factors Influencing Effective CO{sub 2} Storage Capacity and Injectivity in Eastern Gas Shales

    SciTech Connect

    Godec, Michael

    2013-06-30

    Building upon advances in technology, production of natural gas from organic-rich shales is rapidly developing as a major hydrocarbon supply option in North America and around the world. The same technology advances that have facilitated this revolution - dense well spacing, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing - may help to facilitate enhanced gas recovery (EGR) and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) storage in these formations. The potential storage of CO {sub 2} in shales is attracting increasing interest, especially in Appalachian Basin states that have extensive shale deposits, but limited CO{sub 2} storage capacity in conventional reservoirs. The goal of this cooperative research project was to build upon previous and on-going work to assess key factors that could influence effective EGR, CO{sub 2} storage capacity, and injectivity in selected Eastern gas shales, including the Devonian Marcellus Shale, the Devonian Ohio Shale, the Ordovician Utica and Point Pleasant shale and equivalent formations, and the late Devonian-age Antrim Shale. The project had the following objectives: (1) Analyze and synthesize geologic information and reservoir data through collaboration with selected State geological surveys, universities, and oil and gas operators; (2) improve reservoir models to perform reservoir simulations to better understand the shale characteristics that impact EGR, storage capacity and CO{sub 2} injectivity in the targeted shales; (3) Analyze results of a targeted, highly monitored, small-scale CO{sub 2} injection test and incorporate into ongoing characterization and simulation work; (4) Test and model a smart particle early warning concept that can potentially be used to inject water with uniquely labeled particles before the start of CO{sub 2} injection; (5) Identify and evaluate potential constraints to economic CO{sub 2} storage in gas shales, and propose development approaches that overcome these constraints; and (6) Complete new basin

  13. Stimulation rationale for shale gas wells: a state-of-the-art report

    SciTech Connect

    Young, C.; Barbour, T.; Blanton, T.L.

    1980-12-01

    Despite the large quantities of gas contained in the Devonian Shales, only a small percentage can be produced commercially by current production methods. This limited production derives both from the unique reservoir properties of the Devonian Shales and the lack of stimulation technologies specifically designed for a shale reservoir. Since October 1978 Science Applications, Inc. has been conducting a review and evaluation of various shale well stimulation techniques with the objective of defining a rationale for selecting certain treatments given certain reservoir conditions. Although this review and evaluation is ongoing and much more data will be required before a definitive rationale can be presented, the studies to date do allow for many preliminary observations and recommendations. For the hydraulic type treatments the use of low-residual-fluid treatments is highly recommended. The excellent shale well production which is frequently observed with only moderate wellbore enlargement treatments indicates that attempts to extend fractures to greater distances with massive hydraulic treatments are not warranted. Immediate research efforts should be concentrated upon limiting production damage by fracturing fluids retained in the formation, and upon improving proppant transport and placement so as to maximize fracture conductivity. Recent laboratory, numerical modeling and field studies all indicate that the gas fracturing effects of explosive/propellant type treatments are the predominate production enhancement mechanism and that these effects can be controlled and optimized with properly designed charges. Future research efforts should be focused upon the understanding, prediction and control of wellbore fracturing with tailored-pulse-loading charges. 36 references, 7 figures, 2 tables.

  14. An analysis of European shale gas policies: Why EU member states are pursuing divergent 'fracking' strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorne, Ben

    The recent progression in hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' has enabled energy companies to extract once-considered, inaccessible hydrocarbons. The United States has been at the forefront of this controversial industry, revolutionizing the energy market by becoming the world's largest oil and natural gas producer as a result of its vast shale deposits. Shale oil and gas deposits are not unique to North America, however. EU member states are faced with the dilemma of whether to permit fracking domestically or suspend operations. The United Kingdom and Romania have issued concessions for exploring their reserves, while France and Bulgaria have halted all drilling efforts, citing environmental concerns. This paper evaluates why these four European countries pursued divergent fracking policies, arguing that energy security and Russian-relations are more relevant and powerful explanatory factors than a country's commitment to protecting the environment.

  15. Shale Hydrocarbon Prospecting in the Central Part of the Volga-Ural Oil and Gas Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muslimov, Renat Kh.; Plotnikova, Irina N.

    2014-05-01

    Until now nobody has prospected or estimated the oil shale resources in Tatarstan, although the high-carbon rocks of Domanikoidtype often became an object of studies dedicated to assessment of the generation potential of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. The evaluation of oil-shale deposits in Tatarstan should base on the well-known geological, geochemical and technological criteria. The main, determining conditions for shale oil and gas deposit formation are the following: high content of organic matter (OM) in the rock, and its certain catagenetic maturity; special features of the mineral composition of rocks that contribute to the formation of fractures; and the presence of overlying and underlying impermeable dense strata that ensure the safety of hydrocarbons in the shale series. In Tatarstan, the development prospects of shale oil fields should be associated primarily with the rocks ofDomanikoid formations of Upper Devonian - such as Semiluksky (Domanik) horizon, as well asRechitsky (Mendymsky) horizon and Domanikoid formations of central and side areas of the Kama-Kinel trough system. Studies on Domanikwere started in the middle of the last century, when the Ural-Volga region experienced active interest for oil exploration. Then the research of Domanikoid series was carried out at the Department of Oil and Gas Geology, Kazan State University. Butback then the prospecting was not clearly associated with an estimate of shale oil resources. As revealed during rock geochemical studies of the rock, the average content of organic matter in deposits of Semiluksky and Mendymsky horizons is 8.35 and 2.56 % respectively, which is enough to takethese horizons as the main object of research and resource assessment. The presence of silica rocks and dense limestone in such a large proportion is a favorable factor in terms of assessing the effectiveness of fracturing. So we have a quite clear understanding of how to explore Domanik. In fact, the geological structure of our

  16. CO2 utilization and storage in shale gas reservoirs: Experimental results and economic impacts

    DOE PAGES

    Schaef, Herbert T.; Davidson, Casie L.; Owen, Antionette Toni; ...

    2014-12-31

    Natural gas is considered a cleaner and lower-emission fuel than coal, and its high abundance from advanced drilling techniques has positioned natural gas as a major alternative energy source for the U.S. However, each ton of CO2 emitted from any type of fossil fuel combustion will continue to increase global atmospheric concentrations. One unique approach to reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions involves coupling CO2 based enhanced gas recovery (EGR) operations in depleted shale gas reservoirs with long-term CO2 storage operations. In this paper, we report unique findings about the interactions between important shale minerals and sorbing gases (CH4 and CO2) andmore » associated economic consequences. Where enhanced condensation of CO2 followed by desorption on clay surface is observed under supercritical conditions, a linear sorption profile emerges for CH4. Volumetric changes to montmorillonites occur during exposure to CO2. Theory-based simulations identify interactions with interlayer cations as energetically favorable for CO2 intercalation. Thus, experimental evidence suggests CH4 does not occupy the interlayer and has only the propensity for surface adsorption. Mixed CH4:CO2 gas systems, where CH4 concentrations prevail, indicate preferential CO2 sorption as determined by in situ infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques. Collectively, these laboratory studies combined with a cost-based economic analysis provide a basis for identifying favorable CO2-EOR opportunities in previously fractured shale gas reservoirs approaching final stages of primary gas production. Moreover, utilization of site-specific laboratory measurements in reservoir simulators provides insight into optimum injection strategies for maximizing CH4/CO2 exchange rates to obtain peak natural gas production.« less

  17. Atmospheric hydrocarbon emissions and concentrations in the barnett shale natural gas production region.

    PubMed

    Zavala-Araiza, Daniel; Sullivan, David W; Allen, David T

    2014-05-06

    Hourly ambient hydrocarbon concentration data were collected, in the Barnett Shale Natural Gas Production Region, using automated gas chromatography (auto-GC), for the period from April 2010 to December 2011. Data for three sites were compared: a site in the geographical center of the natural gas production region (Eagle Mountain Lake (EML)); a rural/suburban site at the periphery of the production region (Flower Mound Shiloh), and an urban site (Hinton). The dominant hydrocarbon species observed in the Barnett Shale region were light alkanes. Analyses of daily, monthly, and hourly patterns showed little variation in relative composition. Observed concentrations were compared to concentrations predicted using a dispersion model (AERMOD) and a spatially resolved inventory of volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from natural gas production (Barnett Shale Special Emissions Inventory) prepared by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and other emissions information. The predicted concentrations of VOC due to natural gas production were 0-40% lower than background corrected measurements, after accounting for potential under-estimation of certain emission categories. Hourly and daily variations in observed, background corrected concentrations were primarily explained by variability in meteorology, suggesting that episodic emission events had little impact on hourly averaged concentrations. Total emissions for VOC from natural gas production sources are estimated to be approximately 25,300 tons/yr, when accounting for potential under-estimation of certain emission categories. This region produced, in 2011, approximately 5 bcf/d of natural gas (100 Gg/d) for a VOC to natural gas production ratio (mass basis) of 0.0006.

  18. Devonian shale gas exploration and production studies. Final report, November 1983-April 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, J.L.; Koziar, G.; Lemon, J.P.; Akers, M.J.

    1986-08-01

    Ten wells in southwestern West Virginia were selected as potential candidates for in-depth study to identify Devonian-shale-gas production-controlling mechanisms. Wells were studied using geophysical logs, TV log, and flow measurements. Sidewall cores were retrieved for geochemical and geophysical analyses. The well studies were augmented with a seismic survey, production data analysis and data collection for approximately 1400 wells in the study area.

  19. Organic substances in produced and formation water from unconventional natural gas extraction in coal and shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orem, William H.; Tatu, Calin A.; Varonka, Matthew S.; Lerch, Harry E.; Bates, Anne L.; Engle, Mark A.; Crosby, Lynn M.; McIntosh, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Organic substances in produced and formation water from coalbed methane (CBM) and gas shale plays from across the USA were examined in this study. Disposal of produced waters from gas extraction in coal and shale is an important environmental issue because of the large volumes of water involved and the variable quality of this water. Organic substances in produced water may be environmentally relevant as pollutants, but have been little studied. Results from five CBM plays and two gas shale plays (including the Marcellus Shale) show a myriad of organic chemicals present in the produced and formation water. Organic compound classes present in produced and formation water in CBM plays include: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocyclic compounds, alkyl phenols, aromatic amines, alkyl aromatics (alkyl benzenes, alkyl biphenyls), long-chain fatty acids, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Concentrations of individual compounds range from < 1 to 100 μg/L, but total PAHs (the dominant compound class for most CBM samples) range from 50 to 100 μg/L. Total dissolved organic carbon (TOC) in CBM produced water is generally in the 1–4 mg/L range. Excursions from this general pattern in produced waters from individual wells arise from contaminants introduced by production activities (oils, grease, adhesives, etc.). Organic substances in produced and formation water from gas shale unimpacted by production chemicals have a similar range of compound classes as CBM produced water, and TOC levels of about 8 mg/L. However, produced water from the Marcellus Shale using hydraulic fracturing has TOC levels as high as 5500 mg/L and a range of added organic chemicals including, solvents, biocides, scale inhibitors, and other organic chemicals at levels of 1000 s of μg/L for individual compounds. Levels of these hydraulic fracturing chemicals and TOC decrease rapidly over the first 20 days of water recovery and some level of residual organic contaminants remain up to 250 days after

  20. Review of the scientific evidence to support environmental risk assessment of shale gas development in the UK.

    PubMed

    Prpich, George; Coulon, Frédéric; Anthony, Edward J

    2016-09-01

    Interest in the development of shale gas resources using hydraulic fracturing techniques is increasing worldwide despite concerns about the environmental risks associated with this activity. In the United Kingdom (UK), early attempts to hydraulically fracture a shale gas well resulted in a seismic event that led to the suspension of all hydraulic fracturing operations. In response to this occurrence, UK regulators have requested that future shale gas operations that use hydraulic fracturing should be accompanied by a high-level environmental risk assessment (ERA). Completion of an ERA can demonstrate competency, communicate understanding, and ultimately build trust that environmental risks are being managed properly, however, this assessment requires a scientific evidence base. In this paper we discuss how the ERA became a preferred assessment technique to understand the risks related to shale gas development in the UK, and how it can be used to communicate information between stakeholders. We also provide a review of the evidence base that describes the environmental risks related to shale gas operations, which could be used to support an ERA. Finally, we conclude with an update of the current environmental risks associated with shale gas development in the UK and present recommendations for further research.

  1. The relationship between methane migration and shale-gas well operations near Dimock, Pennsylvania, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, Patrick A.

    2016-03-01

    Migration of stray methane gas near the town of Dimock, Pennsylvania, has been at the center of the debate on the safety of shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the United States. The presented study relates temporal variations in molecular concentrations and stable isotope compositions of methane and ethane to shale-gas well activity (i.e., vertical/horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and remedial actions). This was accomplished by analyzing data collected, between 2008 and 2012, by state and federal agencies and the gas well operator. In some cases, methane migration started prior to hydraulic fracturing. Methane levels of contaminated water wells sampled were one to several orders of magnitude greater than the concentrations due to natural variation in water wells of the local area. Isotope analyses indicate that all samples had a thermogenic origin at varying maturity levels, but from formations above the hydraulically fractured Marcellus Shale. The results from the initial water well samples were similar to annular gas values, but not those of production gases. This indicates that leakage by casing cement seals most likely caused the impacts, not breaks in the production casing walls. Remediation by squeeze cementing was partially effective in mitigating impacts of gas migration. In several cases where remediation caused a substantial reduction in methane levels, there were also substantial changes in the isotope values, providing evidence of two sources, one natural and the other man-induced. Sampling water wells while venting gas wells appears to be a cost-effective method for determining if methane migration has occurred.

  2. Fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from shale gas activities - a case study of Dish, TX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, A.; Roscoe, B.; Lary, D.; Schaefer, D.; Tao, L.; Sun, K.; Brian, A.; DiGangi, J.; Miller, D. J.; Zondlo, M. A.

    2012-12-01

    We evaluate new findings on aerial (horizontal and vertical) mapping of methane emissions in the atmospheric boundary layer region to help study fugitive methane emissions from extraction, transmission, and storage of natural gas and oil in Dish, Texas. Dish is located in the Barnett Shale which has seen explosive development of hydraulic fracking activities in recent years. The aerial measurements were performed with a new laser-based methane sensor developed specifically for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) methane sensor, with a mass of 2.5 kg and a precision of < 20 ppbv methane at 1 Hz, was flown on the UT-Dallas ARC Payload Master electronic aircraft at two sites in Texas: one representative of urban emissions of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Richardson, Texas and another in Dish, Texas, closer to gas and oil activities. Methane mixing ratios at Dish were ubiquitously in the 3.5 - 4 ppmv range which was 1.5 - 2 ppmv higher than methane levels immediately downwind of Dallas. During the flight measurements at Dish, narrow methane plumes exceeding 20 ppmv were frequently observed at altitudes from the surface to 130 m above the ground. Based on the wind speed at the sampling location, the horizontal widths of large methane plumes were of the order of 100 m. The locations of the large methane plumes were variable in space and time over a ~ 1 km2 area sampled from the UAV. Spatial mapping over larger scales (10 km) by ground-based measurements showed similar methane levels as the UAV measurements. To corroborate our measurements, alkane and other hydrocarbon mixing ratios from an on-site TCEQ environmental monitoring station were analyzed and correlated with methane measurements to fingerprint the methane source. We show that fugitive methane emissions at Dish are a significant cause of the large and ubiquitous methane levels on the 1-10 km scale.

  3. Capillary pressure – saturation relationships for gas shales measured using a water activity meter

    SciTech Connect

    Donnelly, B.; Perfect, E.; McKay, L. D.; Lemiszki, P. J.; DiStefano, V. H.; Anovitz, L. M.; McFarlane, J.; Hale, R. E.; Cheng, C. -L.

    2016-05-10

    Hydraulic fracturing of gas shale formations involves pumping a large volume of fracking fluid into a hydrocarbon reservoir to fracture the rock and thus increase its permeability. The majority of the fracking fluid introduced is never recovered and the fate of this lost fluid, often called “leak off,” has become the source of much debate. Information on the capillary pressure – saturation relationship for each wetting phase is needed to simulate leak off using numerical reservoir models. The petroleum industry commonly employs air – water capillary pressure – saturation curves to predict these relationships for mixed wet reservoirs. Traditional methods of measuring this curve are unsuitable for gas shales due to high capillary pressures associated with the small pores present. Still, a possible alternative method is the water activity meter which is used widely in the soil sciences for such measurements. However, its application to lithified material has been limited. Here, this study utilized a water activity meter to measure air – water capillary pressures (ranging from 1.3 to 219.6 MPa) at several water saturation levels in both the wetting and drying directions. Water contents were measured gravimetrically. Seven types of gas producing shale with different porosities (2.5–13.6%) and total organic carbon contents (0.4–13.5%) were investigated. Nonlinear regression was used to fit the resulting capillary pressure – water saturation data pairs for each shale type to the Brooks and Corey equation. Data for six of the seven shale types investigated were successfully fitted (median R2 = 0.93), indicating this may be a viable method for parameterizing capillary pressure – saturation relationships for inclusion in numerical reservoir models. As expected, the different shale types had statistically different Brooks and Corey parameters. However, there were no significant differences between the Brooks and Corey parameters for the wetting

  4. Capillary pressure – saturation relationships for gas shales measured using a water activity meter

    DOE PAGES

    Donnelly, B.; Perfect, E.; McKay, L. D.; ...

    2016-05-10

    Hydraulic fracturing of gas shale formations involves pumping a large volume of fracking fluid into a hydrocarbon reservoir to fracture the rock and thus increase its permeability. The majority of the fracking fluid introduced is never recovered and the fate of this lost fluid, often called “leak off,” has become the source of much debate. Information on the capillary pressure – saturation relationship for each wetting phase is needed to simulate leak off using numerical reservoir models. The petroleum industry commonly employs air – water capillary pressure – saturation curves to predict these relationships for mixed wet reservoirs. Traditional methodsmore » of measuring this curve are unsuitable for gas shales due to high capillary pressures associated with the small pores present. Still, a possible alternative method is the water activity meter which is used widely in the soil sciences for such measurements. However, its application to lithified material has been limited. Here, this study utilized a water activity meter to measure air – water capillary pressures (ranging from 1.3 to 219.6 MPa) at several water saturation levels in both the wetting and drying directions. Water contents were measured gravimetrically. Seven types of gas producing shale with different porosities (2.5–13.6%) and total organic carbon contents (0.4–13.5%) were investigated. Nonlinear regression was used to fit the resulting capillary pressure – water saturation data pairs for each shale type to the Brooks and Corey equation. Data for six of the seven shale types investigated were successfully fitted (median R2 = 0.93), indicating this may be a viable method for parameterizing capillary pressure – saturation relationships for inclusion in numerical reservoir models. As expected, the different shale types had statistically different Brooks and Corey parameters. However, there were no significant differences between the Brooks and Corey parameters for the wetting and

  5. Organic and inorganic composition and microbiology of produced waters from Pennsylvania shale gas wells

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Akob, Denise M.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Dunlap, Darren S.; Rowan, Elisabeth L.; Lorah, Michelle M.

    2015-01-01

    Hydraulically fractured shales are becoming an increasingly important source of natural gas production in the United States. This process has been known to create up to 420 gallons of produced water (PW) per day, but the volume varies depending on the formation, and the characteristics of individual hydraulic fracture. PW from hydraulic fracturing of shales are comprised of injected fracturing fluids and natural formation waters in proportions that change over time. Across the state of Pennsylvania, shale gas production is booming; therefore, it is important to assess the variability in PW chemistry and microbiology across this geographical span. We quantified the inorganic and organic chemical composition and microbial communities in PW samples from 13 shale gas wells in north central Pennsylvania. Microbial abundance was generally low (66–9400 cells/mL). Non-volatile dissolved organic carbon (NVDOC) was high (7–31 mg/L) relative to typical shallow groundwater, and the presence of organic acid anions (e.g., acetate, formate, and pyruvate) indicated microbial activity. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in four samples (∼1 to 11.7 μg/L): benzene and toluene in the Burket sample, toluene in two Marcellus samples, and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in one Marcellus sample. VOCs can be either naturally occurring or from industrial activity, making the source of VOCs unclear. Despite the addition of biocides during hydraulic fracturing, H2S-producing, fermenting, and methanogenic bacteria were cultured from PW samples. The presence of culturable bacteria was not associated with salinity or location; although organic compound concentrations and time in production were correlated with microbial activity. Interestingly, we found that unlike the inorganic chemistry, PW organic chemistry and microbial viability were highly variable across the 13 wells sampled, which can have important implications for the reuse and handling of these fluids

  6. The costs of avoiding environmental impacts from shale-gas surface infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Milt, Austin W; Gagnolet, Tamara D; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-12-01

    Growing energy demand has increased the need to manage conflicts between energy production and the environment. As an example, shale-gas extraction requires substantial surface infrastructure, which fragments habitats, erodes soils, degrades freshwater systems, and displaces rare species. Strategic planning of shale-gas infrastructure can reduce trade-offs between economic and environmental objectives, but the specific nature of these trade-offs is not known. We estimated the cost of avoiding impacts from land-use change on forests, wetlands, rare species, and streams from shale-energy development within leaseholds. We created software for optimally siting shale-gas surface infrastructure to minimize its environmental impacts at reasonable construction cost. We visually assessed sites before infrastructure optimization to test whether such inspection could be used to predict whether impacts could be avoided at the site. On average, up to 38% of aggregate environmental impacts of infrastructure could be avoided for 20% greater development costs by spatially optimizing infrastructure. However, we found trade-offs between environmental impacts and costs among sites. In visual inspections, we often distinguished between sites that could be developed to avoid impacts at relatively low cost (29%) and those that could not (20%). Reductions in a metric of aggregate environmental impact could be largely attributed to potential displacement of rare species, sedimentation, and forest fragmentation. Planners and regulators can estimate and use heterogeneous trade-offs among development sites to create industry-wide improvements in environmental performance and do so at reasonable costs by, for example, leveraging low-cost avoidance of impacts at some sites to offset others. This could require substantial effort, but the results and software we provide can facilitate the process.

  7. The Impact of Water Regulation on the Availability of Shale Gas Resources for Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Victor, D. G.

    2011-12-01

    Visions for a large increase in North American production of natural gas from shale are based heavily on the sharp rise in the estimated available resource. Those estimates are prepared by looking at the underlying geology as well as the cost and availability of technologies for extracting gas. We add to that equation the potential current and future regulation of water injection (subsurface) and runoff (surface). Using the political science theory of "veto points" we show that US water legislation is organized in ways that allow for large numbers of political forces to block (or make costly) access to gas resources. By our estimate, 26% of the shale gas resource will be unavailable-a fraction that could rise if there are strong contagion effects as jurisdictions that have traditionally had industry-friendly regulatory systems apply much stricter rules. This work has potentially large implications for visions of the new natural gas revolution and the price of North American (and potentially world) natural gas.

  8. Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling theory.

    PubMed

    Patzek, Tad W; Male, Frank; Marder, Michael

    2013-12-03

    Natural gas from tight shale formations will provide the United States with a major source of energy over the next several decades. Estimates of gas production from these formations have mainly relied on formulas designed for wells with a different geometry. We consider the simplest model of gas production consistent with the basic physics and geometry of the extraction process. In principle, solutions of the model depend upon many parameters, but in practice and within a given gas field, all but two can be fixed at typical values, leading to a nonlinear diffusion problem we solve exactly with a scaling curve. The scaling curve production rate declines as 1 over the square root of time early on, and it later declines exponentially. This simple model provides a surprisingly accurate description of gas extraction from 8,294 wells in the United States' oldest shale play, the Barnett Shale. There is good agreement with the scaling theory for 2,057 horizontal wells in which production started to decline exponentially in less than 10 y. The remaining 6,237 horizontal wells in our analysis are too young for us to predict when exponential decline will set in, but the model can nevertheless be used to establish lower and upper bounds on well lifetime. Finally, we obtain upper and lower bounds on the gas that will be produced by the wells in our sample, individually and in total. The estimated ultimate recovery from our sample of 8,294 wells is between 10 and 20 trillion standard cubic feet.

  9. Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling theory

    PubMed Central

    Patzek, Tad W.; Male, Frank; Marder, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Natural gas from tight shale formations will provide the United States with a major source of energy over the next several decades. Estimates of gas production from these formations have mainly relied on formulas designed for wells with a different geometry. We consider the simplest model of gas production consistent with the basic physics and geometry of the extraction process. In principle, solutions of the model depend upon many parameters, but in practice and within a given gas field, all but two can be fixed at typical values, leading to a nonlinear diffusion problem we solve exactly with a scaling curve. The scaling curve production rate declines as 1 over the square root of time early on, and it later declines exponentially. This simple model provides a surprisingly accurate description of gas extraction from 8,294 wells in the United States’ oldest shale play, the Barnett Shale. There is good agreement with the scaling theory for 2,057 horizontal wells in which production started to decline exponentially in less than 10 y. The remaining 6,237 horizontal wells in our analysis are too young for us to predict when exponential decline will set in, but the model can nevertheless be used to establish lower and upper bounds on well lifetime. Finally, we obtain upper and lower bounds on the gas that will be produced by the wells in our sample, individually and in total. The estimated ultimate recovery from our sample of 8,294 wells is between 10 and 20 trillion standard cubic feet. PMID:24248376

  10. Beyond Consultation: First Nations and the Governance of Shale Gas in British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvie, Kathryn Henderson

    As the province of British Columbia seeks to rapidly develop an extensive natural gas industry, it faces a number of challenges. One of these is that of ensuring that development does not disproportionately impact some of the province's most marginalized communities: the First Nations on whose land extraction will take place. This is particularly crucial given that environmental problems are often caused by unjust and inequitable social conditions that must be rectified before sustainable development can be advanced. This research investigates how the BC Oil and Gas Commission's consultation process addresses, and could be improved to better address Treaty 8 First Nations' concerns regarding shale gas development within their traditional territories. Interviews were conducted with four Treaty 8 First Nations, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, and provincial government and industry staff. Additionally, participant observation was conducted with the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands and Resources Department. Findings indicate that like many other resource consultation processes in British Columbia, the oil and gas consultation process is unable to meaningfully address First Nations' concerns and values due to fundamental procedural problems, including the permit-by-permit approach and the exclusion of First Nations from the point of decision-making. Considering the government's failure to regulate the shale gas industry in a way that protects ecological, social and cultural resilience, we argue that new governance mechanisms are needed that reallocate authority to First Nations and incorporate proposals for early engagement, long-term planning and cumulative impact assessment and monitoring. Additionally, considering the exceptional power differential between government, industry and First Nations, we argue that challenging industry's social license to operate is an important strategy for First Nations working to gain greater influence over development within their

  11. Demonstration projects for coalbed methane and Devonian shale gas: Final report. [None

    SciTech Connect

    Verrips, A.M.; Gustavson, J.B.

    1987-04-01

    In 1979, the US Department of Energy provided the American Public Gas Association (APGA) with a grant to demonstrate the feasibility of bringing unconventional gas such as methane produced from coalbeds or Devonian Shale directly into publicly owned utility system distribution lines. In conjunction with this grant, a seven-year program was initiated where a total of sixteen wells were drilled for the purpose of providing this untapped resource to communities who distribute natural gas. While coalbed degasification ahead of coal mining was already a reality in several parts of the country, the APGA demonstration program was aimed at actual consumer use of the gas. Emphasis was therefore placed on degasification of coals with high methane gas content and on utilization of conventional oil field techniques. 13 figs.

  12. Water pollution risk associated with natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale.

    PubMed

    Rozell, Daniel J; Reaven, Sheldon J

    2012-08-01

    In recent years, shale gas formations have become economically viable through the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. These techniques carry potential environmental risk due to their high water use and substantial risk for water pollution. Using probability bounds analysis, we assessed the likelihood of water contamination from natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. Probability bounds analysis is well suited when data are sparse and parameters highly uncertain. The study model identified five pathways of water contamination: transportation spills, well casing leaks, leaks through fractured rock, drilling site discharge, and wastewater disposal. Probability boxes were generated for each pathway. The potential contamination risk and epistemic uncertainty associated with hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal was several orders of magnitude larger than the other pathways. Even in a best-case scenario, it was very likely that an individual well would release at least 200 m³ of contaminated fluids. Because the total number of wells in the Marcellus Shale region could range into the tens of thousands, this substantial potential risk suggested that additional steps be taken to reduce the potential for contaminated fluid leaks. To reduce the considerable epistemic uncertainty, more data should be collected on the ability of industrial and municipal wastewater treatment facilities to remove contaminants from used hydraulic fracturing fluid.

  13. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2003-07-28

    CO{sub 2} emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have been linked to global climate change. Proposed carbon management technologies include geologic sequestration of CO{sub 2}. A possible, but untested, sequestration strategy is to inject CO{sub 2} into organic-rich shales. Devonian black shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky and are thicker and deeper in the Illinois and Appalachian Basin portions of Kentucky than in central Kentucky. The Devonian black shales serve as both the source and trap for large quantities of natural gas; total gas in place for the shales in Kentucky is estimated to be between 63 and 112 trillion cubic feet. Most of this natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces, analogous to methane storage in coal beds. In coals, it has been demonstrated that CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. The concept that black, organic-rich Devonian shales could serve as a significant geologic sink for CO{sub 2} is the subject of current research. To accomplish this investigation, drill cuttings and cores were selected from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library. Methane and carbon dioxide adsorption analyses are being performed to determine the gas-storage potential of the shale and to identify shale facies with the most sequestration potential. In addition, sidewall core samples are being acquired to investigate specific black-shale facies, their potential CO{sub 2} uptake, and the resulting displacement of methane. Advanced logging techniques (elemental capture spectroscopy) are being investigated for possible correlations between adsorption capacity and geophysical log measurements. Initial estimates indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio shale in parts of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker portions of the

  14. Impacts of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Production on Regional Air Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swarthout, R.; Russo, R. S.; Zhou, Y.; Mitchell, B.; Miller, B.; Lipsky, E. M.; Sive, B. C.

    2012-12-01

    Natural gas is a clean burning alternative to other fossil fuels, producing lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during combustion. Gas deposits located within shale rock or tight sand formations are difficult to access using conventional drilling techniques. However, horizontal drilling coupled with hydraulic fracturing is now widely used to enhance natural gas extraction. Potential environmental impacts of these practices are currently being assessed because of the rapid expansion of natural gas production in the U.S. Natural gas production has contributed to the deterioration of air quality in several regions, such as in Wyoming and Utah, that were near or downwind of natural gas basins. We conducted a field campaign in southwestern Pennsylvania on 16-18 June 2012 to investigate the impact of gas production operations in the Marcellus Shale on regional air quality. A total of 235 whole air samples were collected in 2-liter electropolished stainless- steel canisters throughout southwestern Pennsylvania in a regular grid pattern that covered an area of approximately 8500 square km. Day and night samples were collected at each grid point and additional samples were collected near active wells, flaring wells, fluid retention reservoirs, transmission pipelines, and a processing plant to assess the influence of different stages of the gas production operation on emissions. The samples were analyzed at Appalachian State University for methane (CH4), CO2, C2-C10 nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), C1-C2 halocarbons, C1-C5 alkyl nitrates and selected reduced sulfur compounds. In-situ measurements of ozone (O3), CH4, CO2, nitric oxide (NO), total reactive nitrogen (NOy), formaldehyde (HCHO), and a range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were carried out at an upwind site and a site near active gas wells using a mobile lab. Emissions associated with gas production were observed throughout the study region. Elevated mixing ratios of CH4 and CO2 were observed in the

  15. Effects of Hydraulic Frac Fluids on Subsurface Microbial Communities in Gas Shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez, Núria; Krüger, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Shale gas is being considered as a complementary energy resource to coal or other fossil fuels. The exploitation of unconventional gas reservoirs requires the use of advanced drilling techniques and hydraulic stimulation (fracking). During fracking operations, large amounts of fluids (fresh water, proppants and chemical additives) are injected at high pressures into the formations, to produce fractures and fissures, and thus to release gas from the source rock into the wellbore. The injected fluids partly remain in the formation, while about 20 to 40% of the originally injected fluid flows back to the surface, together with formation waters, sometimes containing dissolved hydrocarbons, high salt concentrations, etc. The overall production operation will likely affect and be affected by subsurface microbial communities associated to the shale formations. On the one hand microbial activity (like growth, biofilm formation) can cause unwanted processes like corrosion, clogging, etc. On the other hand, the introduction of frac fluids could either enhance microbial growth or cause toxicity to the shale-associated microbial communities. To investigate the potential impacts of changing environmental reservoir conditions, like temperature, salinity, oxgen content and pH, as well as the introduction of frac or geogenic chemicals on subsurface microbial communities, laboratory experiments under in situ conditions (i.e. high temperatures and pressures) are being conducted. Enrichment cultures with samples from several subsurface environments (e.g. shale and coal deposits, gas reservoirs, geothermal fluids) have been set up using a variety of carbon sources, including hydrocarbons and typical frac chemicals. Classical microbiological and molecular analysis are used to determine changes in the microbial abundance, community structure and function after the exposure to different single frac chemicals, "artificial" frac fluids or production waters. On the other hand, potential

  16. Shale gas development effects on the songbird community in a central Appalachian forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farwell, Laura S.; Wood, Petra; Sheehan, James; George, Gregory A.

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, unconventional drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus-Utica shale has increased exponentially in the central Appalachians. This heavily forested region contains important breeding habitat for many neotropical migratory songbirds, including several species of conservation concern. Our goal was to examine effects of unconventional gas development on forest habitat and breeding songbirds at a predominantly forested site from 2008 to 2015. Construction of gas well pads and infrastructure (e.g., roads, pipelines) contributed to an overall 4.5% loss in forest cover at the site, a 12.4% loss in core forest, and a 51.7% increase in forest edge density. We evaluated the relationship between land-cover metrics and species richness within three avian guilds: forest-interior, early-successional, and synanthropic, in addition to abundances of 21 focal species. Land-cover impacts were evaluated at two spatial extents: a point-level within 100-m and 500-m buffers of each avian survey station, and a landscape-level across the study area (4326 ha). Although we observed variability in species-specific responses, we found distinct trends in long-term response among the three avian guilds. Forest-interior guild richness declined at all points across the site and at points impacted within 100 m by shale gas but did not change at unimpacted points. Early-successional and synanthropic guild richness increased at all points and at impacted points. Our results suggest that shale gas development has the potential to fragment regional forests and alter avian communities, and that efforts to minimize new development in core forests will reduce negative impacts to forest dependent species.

  17. Silurian shale origin for light oil, condensate, and gas in Algeria and the Middle East

    SciTech Connect

    Zumberge, J.E.; Macko, S. Engel, M.

    1996-12-31

    Two of the largest gas fields in the world, Hasi R`Mel, Algeria and North Dome, Qatar, also contain substantial condensate and light oil reserves. Gas to source rock geochemical correlation is difficult due to the paucity of molecular parameters in the former although stable isotope composition is invaluable. However, by correlating source rocks with light oils and condensates associated with gas production using traditional geochemical parameters such as biomarkers and isotopes, a better understanding of the origin of the gas is achieved. Much of the crude oil in the Ghadames/Illizi Basins of Algeria has long been thought to have been generated from Silurian shales. New light oil discoveries in Saudi Arabia have also been shown to originate in basal euxinic Silurian shales. Key sterane and terpane biomarkers as well as the stable carbon isotopic compositions of the C15+ saturate and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions allow for the typing of Silurian-sourced, thermally mature light oils in Algeria and the Middle East. Even though biomarkers are often absent due to advanced thermal maturity, condensates can be correlated to the light oils using (1) carbon isotopes of the residual heavy hydrocarbon fractions, (2) light hydrocarbon distributions (e.g., C7 composition), and (3) compound specific carbon isotopic composition of the light hydrocarbons. The carbon isotopes of the C2-C4 gas components ran then be compared to the associated condensate and light oil isotopic composition.

  18. Silurian shale origin for light oil, condensate, and gas in Algeria and the Middle East

    SciTech Connect

    Zumberge, J.E. ); Macko, S. ) Engel, M. )

    1996-01-01

    Two of the largest gas fields in the world, Hasi R'Mel, Algeria and North Dome, Qatar, also contain substantial condensate and light oil reserves. Gas to source rock geochemical correlation is difficult due to the paucity of molecular parameters in the former although stable isotope composition is invaluable. However, by correlating source rocks with light oils and condensates associated with gas production using traditional geochemical parameters such as biomarkers and isotopes, a better understanding of the origin of the gas is achieved. Much of the crude oil in the Ghadames/Illizi Basins of Algeria has long been thought to have been generated from Silurian shales. New light oil discoveries in Saudi Arabia have also been shown to originate in basal euxinic Silurian shales. Key sterane and terpane biomarkers as well as the stable carbon isotopic compositions of the C15+ saturate and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions allow for the typing of Silurian-sourced, thermally mature light oils in Algeria and the Middle East. Even though biomarkers are often absent due to advanced thermal maturity, condensates can be correlated to the light oils using (1) carbon isotopes of the residual heavy hydrocarbon fractions, (2) light hydrocarbon distributions (e.g., C7 composition), and (3) compound specific carbon isotopic composition of the light hydrocarbons. The carbon isotopes of the C2-C4 gas components ran then be compared to the associated condensate and light oil isotopic composition.

  19. Utility of Isotopes to Understand the Effect of Shale Gas Drilling on Water Quality: Examples From the Appalachian Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, S.; Bowman, L.; Pelak, A.; Mulder, M.

    2014-12-01

    Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin is one of the largest unconventional gas resources in the United States. The main public concern associated with hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus shale is that that the quality of underground sources of drinking water (USDW) and surface waters can be compromised due to well casing or grouting failures, creation of new fracture pathways, and improper disposal of produced water. However, this region has a long history of coal mining and oil /gas development and therefore it becomes very important to be able to distinguish if any incidence of water contamination is associated with legacy mining/drilling activities or the newly drilled shale gas wells. In addition, the complex structural regime of the Appalachian makes it difficult to decouple natural migration of deep brines and stray gas along geological faults/ fractures from new pathways created by hydraulic fracturing activities. In order to effectively assess the effect of shale gas development on water quality of this region there is a need 1) to establish the background geochemical signatures of different water sources and, 2) to develop geochemical fingerprints that can track the sources and fates of brines and stray gas in fresh waters. We will present results from several ongoing research projects which demonstrate applicability of stable isotopes as natural tracers to understand changes in hydrologic connections associated with shale gas drilling in this region.

  20. Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Historical Oil and Gas Wells in Pennsylvania: Implications for New Shale Gas Resources.

    PubMed

    Dilmore, Robert M; Sams, James I; Glosser, Deborah; Carter, Kristin M; Bain, Daniel J

    2015-10-20

    Recent large-scale development of oil and gas from low-permeability unconventional formations (e.g., shales, tight sands, and coal seams) has raised concern about potential environmental impacts. If left improperly sealed, legacy oil and gas wells colocated with that new development represent a potential pathway for unwanted migration of fluids (brine, drilling and stimulation fluids, oil, and gas). Uncertainty in the number, location, and abandonment state of legacy wells hinders environmental assessment of exploration and production activity. The objective of this study is to apply publicly available information on Pennsylvania oil and gas wells to better understand their potential to serve as pathways for unwanted fluid migration. This study presents a synthesis of historical reports and digital well records to provide insights into spatial and temporal trends in oil and gas development. Areas with a higher density of wells abandoned prior to the mid-20th century, when more modern well-sealing requirements took effect in Pennsylvania, and areas where conventional oil and gas production penetrated to or through intervals that may be affected by new Marcellus shale development are identified. This information may help to address questions of environmental risk related to new extraction activities.

  1. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Ordovician Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province, 2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirschbaum, Mark A.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Cook, Troy A.; Ryder, Robert T.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Klett, Timothy R.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Whidden, Katherine J.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey assessed unconventional oil and gas resources of the Upper Ordovician Utica Shale and adjacent units in the Appalachian Basin Province. The assessment covers parts of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The geologic concept is that black shale of the Utica Shale and adjacent units generated hydrocarbons from Type II organic material in areas that are thermally mature for oil and gas. The source rocks generated petroleum that migrated into adjacent units, but also retained significant hydrocarbons within the matrix and adsorbed to organic matter of the shale. These are potentially technically recoverable resources that can be exploited by using horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing techniques.

  2. Compaction bands in high temperature/pressure diagenetically altered unconventional shale gas reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regenauer-Lieb, K.; Veveakis, M.; Poulet, T.

    2014-12-01

    Unconventional energy and mineral resources are typically trapped in a low porosity/permeability environment and are difficult to produce. An extreme end-member is the shale gas reservoir in the Cooper Basin (Australia) that is located at 3500-4000 m depth and ambient temperature conditions around 200oC. Shales of lacustrine origin (with high clay content) are diagenetically altered. Diagenesis involves fluid release mineral reactions of the general type Asolid ↔ Bsolid +Cfluid and switches on suddenly in the diagenetic window between 100-200oC. Diagenetic reactions can involve concentrations of smectite, aqueous silica compound, illite, potassium ions, aqueous silica, quartz, feldspar, kerogen, water and gas . In classical petroleum engineering such interlayer water/gas release reactions are considered to cause cementation and significantly reduce porosity and permeability. Yet in contradiction to the expected permeability reduction gas is successfully being produced. We propose that the success is based on the ductile equivalent of classical compaction bands in solid mechanics. The difference being that that the rate of the volumetric compaction is controlled by the diagenetic reactions. Ductile compaction bands are forming high porosity fluid channels rather than low porosity crushed grains in the solid mechanical equivalent. We show that this new type of volumetric instability appears in rate-dependent heterogenous materials as Cnoidal waves. These are nonlinear and exact periodic stationary waves, well known in the shallow water theory of fluid mechanics. Their distance is a direct function of the hydromechanical diffusivities. These instabilities only emerge in low permeability environment where the fluid diffusivity is about an order of magnitude lower than the mechanical loading. The instabilities are expected to be of the type as shown in the image below. The image shows a CT-scan of a laboratory experiment kindly provided by Papamichos (pers

  3. Risk and resilience in the shale gas context: a nexus perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosales, T. Y.; Notte, C. A.; Allen, D. M.; Kirste, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    The accelerated exploration for and development of unconventional gas plays around the world has raised public concern about potential risks to human health and the environment. In this study, a risk assessment framework specific to shale gas development is proposed. The framework aims to quantify and/or qualify both risk and resilience within a water-energy nexus context, using a comprehensive approach that considers environment, health and policy. The risk assessment framework is intended to be flexible so that it can be used in different regions, but will be tested in North East British Columbia, Canada where shale gas development is rapidly expanding. The main components of risk include hazards, susceptibility and potential consequences, which will be evaluated in space and time using ArcGIS software. The hazards are associated with all phases of shale gas development and include: water, air, and soil contamination; water use (surface and groundwater), and land use disturbance, and their assessment will take into account where they may occur, their frequency, duration and magnitude. Hazard-specific susceptibility maps will be generated based on the physical characteristics of the environment (e.g. soil, geology, hydrology, topography) as well as water source information (e.g. well locations), community footprints, etc. When combined with an evaluation of potential consequences, the resulting set of spatial risk maps can then be used for water resource management, land use planning, and industry permitting. Resilience, which buffers risk, here considers the existing regulatory framework and whether or not existing regulations can mitigate risk by reducing the hazard potential or consequences. The study considers how regulations may fully, partially, or inadequately mitigate the consequences of a given hazard. If development is to continue at its current pace in North East BC, it is imperative that decision-makers recognize the changing risk and resilience

  4. The shale gas revolution from the viewpoint of a former industry insider.

    PubMed

    Bamberger, Michelle; Oswald, Robert

    2015-02-01

    This is an interview conducted with an oil and gas worker who was employed in the industry from 1993 to 2012. He requested that his name not be used. From 2008 to 2012, he drilled wells for a major operator in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Bradford County is the center of the Marcellus shale gas boom in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2012, he formed a consulting business to assist clients who need information on the details of gas and oil drilling operations. In this interview, the worker describes the benefits and difficulties of the hard work involved in drilling unconventional gas wells in Pennsylvania. In particular, he outlines the safety procedures that were in place and how they sometimes failed, leading to workplace injuries. He provides a compelling view of the trade-offs between the economic opportunities of working on a rig and the dangers and stresses of working long hours under hazardous conditions.

  5. Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin Province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coleman, James L.; Milici, Robert C.; Cook, Troy A.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Kirshbaum, Mark; Klett, Timothy R.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Schenk, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated a mean undiscovered natural gas resource of 84,198 billion cubic feet and a mean undiscovered natural gas liquids resource of 3,379 million barrels in the Devonian Marcellus Shale within the Appalachian Basin Province. All this resource occurs in continuous accumulations. In 2011, the USGS completed an assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas potential of the Devonian Marcellus Shale within the Appalachian Basin Province of the eastern United States. The Appalachian Basin Province includes parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The assessment of the Marcellus Shale is based on the geologic elements of this formation's total petroleum system (TPS) as recognized in the characteristics of the TPS as a petroleum source rock (source rock richness, thermal maturation, petroleum generation, and migration) as well as a reservoir rock (stratigraphic position and content and petrophysical properties). Together, these components confirm the Marcellus Shale as a continuous petroleum accumulation. Using the geologic framework, the USGS defined one TPS and three assessment units (AUs) within this TPS and quantitatively estimated the undiscovered oil and gas resources within the three AUs. For the purposes of this assessment, the Marcellus Shale is considered to be that Middle Devonian interval that consists primarily of shale and lesser amounts of bentonite, limestone, and siltstone occurring between the underlying Middle Devonian Onondaga Limestone (or its stratigraphic equivalents, the Needmore Shale and Huntersville Chert) and the overlying Middle Devonian Mahantango Formation (or its stratigraphic equivalents, the upper Millboro Shale and middle Hamilton Group).

  6. Experimental Investigation into Hydraulic Fracture Network Propagation in Gas Shales Using CT Scanning Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yushi, Zou; Shicheng, Zhang; Tong, Zhou; Xiang, Zhou; Tiankui, Guo

    2016-01-01

    Multistage fracturing of the horizontal well is recognized as the main stimulation technology for shale gas development. The hydraulic fracture geometry and stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) is interpreted by using the microseismic mapping technology. In this paper, we used a computerized tomography (CT) scanning technique to reveal the fracture geometry created in natural bedding-developed shale (cubic block of 30 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm) by laboratory fracturing. Experimental results show that partially opened bedding planes are helpful in increasing fracture complexity in shale. However, they tend to dominate fracture patterns for vertical stress difference Δ σ v ≤ 6 MPa, which decreases the vertical fracture number, resulting in the minimum SRV. A uniformly distributed complex fracture network requires the induced hydraulic fractures that can connect the pre-existing fractures as well as pulverize the continuum rock mass. In typical shale with a narrow (<0.05 mm) and closed natural fracture system, it is likely to create complex fracture for horizontal stress difference Δ σ h ≤ 6 MPa and simple transverse fracture for Δ σ h ≥ 9 MPa. However, high naturally fractured shale with a wide open natural fracture system (>0.1 mm) does not agree with the rule that low Δ σ h is favorable for uniformly creating a complex fracture network in zone. In such case, a moderate Δ σ h from 3 to 6 MPa is favorable for both the growth of new hydraulic fractures and the activation of a natural fracture system. Shale bedding, natural fracture, and geostress are objective formation conditions that we cannot change; we can only maximize the fracture complexity by controlling the engineering design for fluid viscosity, flow rate, and well completion type. Variable flow rate fracturing with low-viscosity slickwater fluid of 2.5 mPa s was proved to be an effective treatment to improve the connectivity of induced hydraulic fracture with pre-existing fractures. Moreover, the

  7. Controls on Methane Occurrences in Shallow Aquifers Overlying the Haynesville Shale Gas Field, East Texas.

    PubMed

    Nicot, Jean-Philippe; Larson, Toti; Darvari, Roxana; Mickler, Patrick; Slotten, Michael; Aldridge, Jordan; Uhlman, Kristine; Costley, Ruth

    2017-01-19

    Understanding the source of dissolved methane in drinking-water aquifers is critical for assessing potential contributions from hydraulic fracturing in shale plays. Shallow groundwater in the Texas portion of the Haynesville Shale area (13,000 km(2) ) was sampled (70 samples) for methane and other dissolved light alkanes. Most samples were derived from the fresh water bearing Wilcox formations and show little methane except in a localized cluster of 12 water wells (17% of total) in a approximately 30 × 30 km(2) area in Southern Panola County with dissolved methane concentrations less than 10 mg/L. This zone of elevated methane is spatially associated with the termination of an active fault system affecting the entire sedimentary section, including the Haynesville Shale at a depth more than 3.5 km, and with shallow lignite seams of Lower Wilcox age at a depth of 100 to 230 m. The lignite spatial extension overlaps with the cluster. Gas wetness and methane isotope compositions suggest a mixed microbial and thermogenic origin with contribution from lignite beds and from deep thermogenic reservoirs that produce condensate in most of the cluster area. The pathway for methane from the lignite and deeper reservoirs is then provided by the fault system.

  8. Total petroleum system assessment of undiscovered resources in the giant Barnett Shale continuous (unconventional) gas accumulation, Fort Worth Basin, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pollastro, R.M.

    2007-01-01

    Undiscovered natural gas having potential for additions to reserves in the Mississippian Barnett Shale of the Fort Worth Basin, north-central Texas, was assessed using the total petroleum system assessment unit concept and a cell-based methodology for continuous-type (Unconventional) resources. The Barnett-Paleozoic total petroleum system is defined in the Bend arch-Fort Worth Basin as encompassing the area in which the organic-rich Barnett is the primary source rock for oil and gas produced from Paleozoic carbonate and clastic reservoirs. Exploration, technology, and drilling in the Barnett Shale play have rapidly evolved in recent years, with about 3500 vertical and 1000 horizontal wells completed in the Barnett through 2005 and more than 85% of the them completed since 1999. Using framework geology and historical production data, assessment of the Barnett Shale was performed by the U.S. Geological Survey using vertical wells at the peak of vertical well completions and before a transition to completions with horizontal wells. The assessment was performed after (1) mapping critical geological and geochemical parameters to define assessment unit areas with future potential, (2) defining distributions of drainage area (cell size) and estimating ultimate recovery per cell, and (3) estimating future success rates. Two assessment units are defined and assessed for the Barnett Shale continuous gas accumulation, resulting in a total mean undiscovered volume having potential for additions to reserves of 26.2 TCFG. The greater Newark East fracture-barrier continuous Barnett Shale gas assessment unit represents a core-producing area where thick, organic-rich, siliceous Barnett Shale is within the thermal window for gas generation (Ro ??? 1.1%) and is overlain and underlain by impermeable limestone barriers (Pennsylvanian Marble Falls Limestone and Ordovician Viola Limestone, respectively) that serve to confine induced fractures during well completion to maximize gas

  9. Enhanced formation of disinfection byproducts in shale gas wastewater-impacted drinking water supplies.

    PubMed

    Parker, Kimberly M; Zeng, Teng; Harkness, Jennifer; Vengosh, Avner; Mitch, William A

    2014-10-07

    The disposal and leaks of hydraulic fracturing wastewater (HFW) to the environment pose human health risks. Since HFW is typically characterized by elevated salinity, concerns have been raised whether the high bromide and iodide in HFW may promote the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and alter their speciation to more toxic brominated and iodinated analogues. This study evaluated the minimum volume percentage of two Marcellus Shale and one Fayetteville Shale HFWs diluted by fresh water collected from the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers that would generate and/or alter the formation and speciation of DBPs following chlorination, chloramination, and ozonation treatments of the blended solutions. During chlorination, dilutions as low as 0.01% HFW altered the speciation toward formation of brominated and iodinated trihalomethanes (THMs) and brominated haloacetonitriles (HANs), and dilutions as low as 0.03% increased the overall formation of both compound classes. The increase in bromide concentration associated with 0.01-0.03% contribution of Marcellus HFW (a range of 70-200 μg/L for HFW with bromide = 600 mg/L) mimics the increased bromide levels observed in western Pennsylvanian surface waters following the Marcellus Shale gas production boom. Chloramination reduced HAN and regulated THM formation; however, iodinated trihalomethane formation was observed at lower pH. For municipal wastewater-impacted river water, the presence of 0.1% HFW increased the formation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) during chloramination, particularly for the high iodide (54 ppm) Fayetteville Shale HFW. Finally, ozonation of 0.01-0.03% HFW-impacted river water resulted in significant increases in bromate formation. The results suggest that total elimination of HFW discharge and/or installation of halide-specific removal techniques in centralized brine treatment facilities may be a better strategy to mitigate impacts on downstream drinking water treatment plants than altering

  10. Metathesis in the generation of low-temperature gas in marine shales

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The recent report of low-temperature catalytic gas from marine shales took on additional significance with the subsequent disclosure of natural gas and low-temperature gas at or near thermodynamic equilibrium in methane, ethane, and propane. It is important because thermal cracking, the presumed source of natural gas, cannot generate these hydrocarbons at equilibrium nor can it bring them to equilibrium over geologic time. The source of equilibrium and the source of natural gas are either the same (generation under equilibrium control) or closely associated. Here we report the catalytic interconversion of hydrocarbons (metathesis) as the source of equilibrium in experiments with Cretaceous Mowry shale at 100°C. Focus was on two metathetic equilibria: methane, ethane, and propane, reported earlier, Q (K = [(C1)*(C3)]/[(C2)2]), and between these hydrocarbons and n-butane, Q* (K = [(C1)*(n-C4)]/[(C2)*(C3)]), reported here for the first time. Two observations stand out. Initial hydrocarbon products are near equilibrium and have maximum average molecular weights (AMW). Over time, products fall from equilibrium and AMW in concert. It is consistent with metathesis splitting olefin intermediates [Cn] to smaller intermediates (fission) as gas generation creates open catalytic sites ([ ]): [Cn] + [ ] → [Cn-m] + [Cm]. Fission rates increasing exponentially with olefin molecular weight could contribute to these effects. AMW would fall over time, and selective fission of [C3] and [n-C4] would draw Q and Q* from equilibrium. The results support metathesis as the source of thermodynamic equilibrium in natural gas. PMID:20142998

  11. Metathesis in the generation of low-temperature gas in marine shales.

    PubMed

    Mango, Frank D; Jarvie, Daniel M

    2010-01-20

    The recent report of low-temperature catalytic gas from marine shales took on additional significance with the subsequent disclosure of natural gas and low-temperature gas at or near thermodynamic equilibrium in methane, ethane, and propane. It is important because thermal cracking, the presumed source of natural gas, cannot generate these hydrocarbons at equilibrium nor can it bring them to equilibrium over geologic time. The source of equilibrium and the source of natural gas are either the same (generation under equilibrium control) or closely associated. Here we report the catalytic interconversion of hydrocarbons (metathesis) as the source of equilibrium in experiments with Cretaceous Mowry shale at 100 degrees C. Focus was on two metathetic equilibria: methane, ethane, and propane, reported earlier, Q (K = [(C(1))*(C(3))]/[(C(2))(2)]), and between these hydrocarbons and n-butane, Q* (K = [(C(1))*(n-C(4))]/[(C(2))*(C(3))]), reported here for the first time. Two observations stand out. Initial hydrocarbon products are near equilibrium and have maximum average molecular weights (AMW). Over time, products fall from equilibrium and AMW in concert. It is consistent with metathesis splitting olefin intermediates [C(n)] to smaller intermediates (fission) as gas generation creates open catalytic sites ([ ]): [C(n)] + [ ] --> [C(n-m)] + [C(m)]. Fission rates increasing exponentially with olefin molecular weight could contribute to these effects. AMW would fall over time, and selective fission of [C(3)] and [n-C(4)] would draw Q and Q* from equilibrium. The results support metathesis as the source of thermodynamic equilibrium in natural gas.

  12. Shale-Gas Experience as an Analog for Potential Wellbore Integrity Issues in CO2 Sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Carey, James W.; Simpson, Wendy S.; Ziock, Hans-Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Shale-gas development in Pennsylvania since 2003 has resulted in about 19 documented cases of methane migration from the deep subsurface (7,0000) to drinking water aquifers, soils, domestic water wells, and buildings, including one explosion. In all documented cases, the methane leakage was due to inadequate wellbore integrity, possibly aggravated by hydrofracking. The leakage of methane is instructive on the potential for CO{sub 2} leakage from sequestration operations. Although there are important differences between the two systems, both involve migrating, buoyant gas with wells being a primary leakage pathway. The shale-gas experience demonstrates that gas migration from faulty wells can be rapid and can have significant impacts on water quality and human health and safety. Approximately 1.4% of the 2,200 wells drilled into Pennsylvania's Marcellus Formation for shale gas have been implicated in methane leakage. These have resulted in damage to over 30 domestic water supplies and have required significant remediation via well repair and homeowner compensation. The majority of the wellbore integrity problems are a result of over-pressurization of the wells, meaning that high-pressure gas has migrated into an improperly protected wellbore annulus. The pressurized gas leaks from the wellbore into the shallow subsurface, contaminating drinking water or entering structures. The effects are localized to a few thousands of feet to perhaps two-three miles. The degree of mixing between the drinking water and methane is sufficient that significant chemical impacts are created in terms of elevated Fe and Mn and the formation of black precipitates (metal sulfides) as well as effervescing in tap water. Thus it appears likely that leaking CO{sub 2} could also result in deteriorated water quality by a similar mixing process. The problems in Pennsylvania highlight the critical importance of obtaining background data on water quality as well as on problems associated with

  13. Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus shale gas drilling flow back water

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Yixin; Chen, Tingting; Shen, Steven S.; Niu, Yingmei; DesMarais, Thomas L; Linn, Reka; Saunders, Eric; Fan, Zhihua; Lioy, Paul; Kluz, Thomas; Chen, Lung-Chi; Wu, Zhuangchun; Costa, Max

    2015-01-01

    The rapid development of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing for mining natural gas from shale has posed potential impacts on human health and biodiversity. The produced flow back waters after hydraulic stimulation is known to carry high levels of saline and total dissolved solids. To understand the toxicity and potential carcinogenic effects of these waste waters, flow back water from five Marcellus hydraulic fracturing oil and gas wells were analyzed. The physicochemical nature of these samples was analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy / energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. A cytotoxicity study using colony formation as the endpoint was carried out to define the LC50 values of test samples using human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). The BEAS-2B cell transformation assay was employed to assess the carcinogenic potential of the samples. Barium and strontium were among the most abundant metals in these samples and the same metals were found elevated in BEAS-2B cells after long-term treatment. BEAS-2B cells treated for 6 weeks with flow back waters produced colony formation in soft agar that was concentration dependant. In addition, flow back water-transformed BEAS-2B cells show a better migration capability when compared to control cells. This study provides information needed to assess the potential health impact of post-hydraulic fracturing flow back waters from Marcellus Shale natural gas mining. PMID:26210350

  14. Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yixin; Chen, Tingting; Shen, Steven S; Niu, Yingmei; DesMarais, Thomas L; Linn, Reka; Saunders, Eric; Fan, Zhihua; Lioy, Paul; Kluz, Thomas; Chen, Lung-Chi; Wu, Zhuangchun; Costa, Max; Zelikoff, Judith

    2015-10-01

    The rapid development of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing for mining natural gas from shale has posed potential impacts on human health and biodiversity. The produced flow back waters after hydraulic stimulation are known to carry high levels of saline and total dissolved solids. To understand the toxicity and potential carcinogenic effects of these wastewaters, flow back waters from five Marcellus hydraulic fracturing oil and gas wells were analyzed. The physicochemical nature of these samples was analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. A cytotoxicity study using colony formation as the endpoint was carried out to define the LC50 values of test samples using human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). The BEAS-2B cell transformation assay was employed to assess the carcinogenic potential of the samples. Barium and strontium were among the most abundant metals in these samples and the same metals were found to be elevated in BEAS-2B cells after long-term treatment. BEAS-2B cells treated for 6weeks with flow back waters produced colony formation in soft agar that was concentration dependent. In addition, flow back water-transformed BEAS-2B cells show better migration capability when compared to control cells. This study provides information needed to assess the potential health impact of post-hydraulic fracturing flow back waters from Marcellus Shale natural gas mining.

  15. A risk assessment tool applied to the study of shale gas resources.

    PubMed

    Veiguela, Miguel; Hurtado, Antonio; Eguilior, Sonsoles; Recreo, Fernando; Roqueñi, Nieves; Loredo, Jorge

    2016-11-15

    The implementation of a risk assessment tool with the capacity to evaluate the risks for health, safety and the environment (HSE) from extraction of non-conventional fossil fuel resources by the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technique can be a useful tool to boost development and progress of the technology and winning public trust and acceptance of this. At the early project stages, the lack of data related the selection of non-conventional gas deposits makes it difficult the use of existing approaches to risk assessment of fluids injected into geologic formations. The qualitative risk assessment tool developed in this work is based on the approach that shale gas exploitation risk is dependent on both the geologic site and the technological aspects. It follows from the Oldenburg's 'Screening and Ranking Framework (SRF)' developed to evaluate potential geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites. These two global characteristics: (1) characteristics centered on the natural aspects of the site and (2) characteristics centered on the technological aspects of the Project, have been evaluated through user input of Property values, which define Attributes, which define the Characteristics. In order to carry out an individual evaluation of each of the characteristics and the elements of the model, the tool has been implemented in a spreadsheet. The proposed model has been applied to a site with potential for the exploitation of shale gas in Asturias (northwestern Spain) with tree different technological options to test the approach.

  16. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2005-07-29

    Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In the shale, natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO{sub 2} displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO{sub 2} adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton. There is a direct correlation between measured total organic carbon content and the adsorptive capacity of the shale; CO{sub 2} adsorption capacity increases with increasing organic carbon content. Initial estimates based on these data indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons of CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. Should the black shales of Kentucky prove to be a viable geologic sink for CO{sub 2}, their extensive occurrence in Paleozoic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional target for economic CO{sub 2} storage and enhanced natural gas production.

  17. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2005-01-28

    Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In the shale, natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO{sub 2} displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO{sub 2} adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton. There is a direct correlation between measured total organic carbon content and the adsorptive capacity of the shale; CO{sub 2} adsorption capacity increases with increasing organic carbon content. Initial estimates based on these data indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons of CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. Should the black shales of Kentucky prove to be a viable geologic sink for CO{sub 2}, their extensive occurrence in Paleozoic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional target for economic CO{sub 2} storage and enhanced natural gas production.

  18. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2004-08-01

    Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In the shale, natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library are being sampled to collect CO{sub 2} adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples have been acquired to investigate CO{sub 2} displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log has been acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 4.62 percent. CO{sub 2} adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 19 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 86 scf/ton in the Lower Huron Member of the shale. Initial estimates based on these data indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons of CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. Should the black shales of Kentucky prove to be a viable geologic sink for CO{sub 2}, their extensive occurrence in Paleozoic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional target for economic CO{sub 2} storage and enhanced natural gas production.

  19. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2005-04-26

    Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In the shale, natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO{sub 2} displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO{sub 2} adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton. There is a direct correlation between measured total organic carbon content and the adsorptive capacity of the shale; CO{sub 2} adsorption capacity increases with increasing organic carbon content. Initial estimates based on these data indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons of CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. Should the black shales of Kentucky prove to be a viable geologic sink for CO{sub 2}, their extensive occurrence in Paleozoic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional target for economic CO{sub 2} storage and enhanced natural gas production.

  20. Leakage detection of Marcellus Shale natural gas at an Upper Devonian gas monitoring well: a 3-d numerical modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liwei; Anderson, Nicole; Dilmore, Robert; Soeder, Daniel J; Bromhal, Grant

    2014-09-16

    Potential natural gas leakage into shallow, overlying formations and aquifers from Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations is a public concern. However, before natural gas could reach underground sources of drinking water (USDW), it must pass through several geologic formations. Tracer and pressure monitoring in formations overlying the Marcellus could help detect natural gas leakage at hydraulic fracturing sites before it reaches USDW. In this study, a numerical simulation code (TOUGH 2) was used to investigate the potential for detecting leaking natural gas in such an overlying geologic formation. The modeled zone was based on a gas field in Greene County, Pennsylvania, undergoing production activities. The model assumed, hypothetically, that methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas, with some tracer, was leaking around an existing well between the Marcellus Shale and the shallower and lower-pressure Bradford Formation. The leaky well was located 170 m away from a monitoring well, in the Bradford Formation. A simulation study was performed to determine how quickly the tracer monitoring could detect a leak of a known size. Using some typical parameters for the Bradford Formation, model results showed that a detectable tracer volume fraction of 2.0 × 10(-15) would be noted at the monitoring well in 9.8 years. The most rapid detection of tracer for the leak rates simulated was 81 days, but this scenario required that the leakage release point was at the same depth as the perforation zone of the monitoring well and the zones above and below the perforation zone had low permeability, which created a preferred tracer migration pathway along the perforation zone. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the time needed to detect CH4 leakage at the monitoring well was very sensitive to changes in the thickness of the high-permeability zone, CH4 leaking rate, and production rate of the monitoring well.

  1. Paleozoic oil/gas shale reservoirs in southern Tunisia: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soua, Mohamed

    2014-12-01

    During these last years, considerable attention has been given to unconventional oil and gas shale in northern Africa where the most productive Paleozoic basins are located (e.g. Berkine, Illizi, Kufra, Murzuk, Tindouf, Ahnet, Oued Mya, Mouydir, etc.). In most petroleum systems, which characterize these basins, the Silurian played the main role in hydrocarbon generation with two main 'hot' shale levels distributed in different locations (basins) and their deposition was restricted to the Rhuddanian (Lllandovery: early Silurian) and the Ludlow-Pridoli (late Silurian). A third major hot shale level had been identified in the Frasnian (Upper Devonian). Southern Tunisia is characterized by three main Paleozoic sedimentary basins, which are from North to South, the southern Chotts, Jeffara and Berkine Basin. They are separated by a major roughly E-W trending lower Paleozoic structural high, which encompass the Mehrez-Oued Hamous uplift to the West (Algeria) and the Nefusa uplift to the East (Libya), passing by the Touggourt-Talemzane-PGA-Bou Namcha (TTPB) structure close to southern Tunisia. The forementioned major source rocks in southern Tunisia are defined by hot shales with elevated Gamma ray values often exceeding 1400 API (in Hayatt-1 well), deposited in deep water environments during short lived (c. 2 Ma) periods of anoxia. In the course of this review, thickness, distribution and maturity maps have been established for each hot shale level using data for more than 70 wells located in both Tunisia and Algeria. Mineralogical modeling was achieved using Spectral Gamma Ray data (U, Th, K), SopectroLith logs (to acquire data for Fe, Si and Ti) and Elemental Capture Spectroscopy (ECS). The latter technique provided data for quartz, pyrite, carbonate, clay and Sulfur. In addition to this, the Gamma Ray (GR), Neutron Porosity (ΦN), deep Resistivity (Rt) and Bulk Density (ρb) logs were used to model bulk mineralogy and lithology. Biostratigraphic and complete

  2. Feasibility of ASD AgriSpec analysis to indicate mineralogy of a potential shale gas reservoir from west Lancashire, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, Claire; Hough, Edward; Kemp, Simon; Cave, Mark

    2016-04-01

    Mudrocks rich in organic matter present an attractive exploration target for unconventional gas and oil. The mid-Carboniferous (Visean - Bashkirian) Bowland Shale is developed in a series of fault-bound basins and is considered the principal accumulation of gas-prone shales in the UK. One risk with exploitation of shales is that the rocks may exhibit ductile behaviour and will not respond in an optimal way to hydraulic stimulation programmes. The brittle behaviour of the rock is strongly influenced by mineralogical composition. Approximately 15 m of core from the lower part of the Bowland Shale, has been used to test the feasibility of using Natural Infra-Red (NIR) Spectrometry to characterise the mineralogy of the shale, and compared to analysis using standard XRD techniques (both whole-rock and <2 micron) to confirm the mineralogical constituents of the rock. Clay mineralogy has been the main focus, as their presence within the shale may affect the 'frackability' of the shale. Clay minerals are also easily detected using NIR spectrometry as they display distinctive absorption features in the Short Wave Infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The benefits of using a handheld NIR spectrometer (AgriSpec) is that it provides a rapid, non-destructive and highly portable method for characterising clay mineralogy. This method may represent a simple solution to the initial characterisation of what are challenging rocks to characterise: thick accumulations (locally in excess of 3500 m) with few marker horizons to enable correlation between basins. Results demonstrate that clay minerals such as dickite, kaolinite and smectite (as well as other characteristic minerals such as siderite; calcite and gypsum) can be identified within the Bowland Shale using this technique.

  3. Examining the Prevalence of Natural Gas "Super-emitters" in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, H.; Caulton, D.; Golston, L.; Lu, J.; Zondlo, M. A.; Wendt, L. P.; Pan, D.

    2015-12-01

    Natural gas has been touted as a "transition fuel" that can ease the Unites States' move towards a low-carbon economy. However, recent studies have shown natural gas leakage rates are larger than expected. High emission rates have the potential to minimize or entirely counteract the early climatic benefits of switching from coal because of the high global warming potential of methane, the primary component of natural gas. Several studies have noted that the distribution of well emissions seems to be skewed, or "fat tailed," with a small number of sites accounting for disproportionately large percentages of emissions. The subset of high-emitting wells, dubbed "super-emitters," is poorly understood and difficult to quantify in studies with small sample sizes. This study seeks to quantify natural gas leaks and understand the statistical significance of "super-emitters" within the Marcellus Shale region. During a field campaign in July 2015, we sampled 250 separate well pads in the Marcellus Region, with an ultimate goal of 1000 wells to be completed in subsequent campaigns in 2015 and 2016. A mobile lab was equipped with LICOR open-path sensors measuring CH4, CO2, and H2O mixing ratios as well as a GPS device. Well pad emissions are determined by isolating peaks and employing an inverse Gaussian plume method. The wind information necessary for these calculations is taken from NOAA READY archived meteorology modeling. Median emission rates of a data subset are 0.14 g CH4/s among emitting wells, which are comparable in order of magnitude with those in other basins. The preliminary distribution also exhibits skewed characteristics with about 10% of wells accounting for 75% of emissions. Data comparing the prevalence and relative emission strength of these 'super-emitters' will be presented. Further research will examine their prevalence, shared attributes, and implications for the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry.

  4. Lattice Boltzmann Simulation of Shale Gas Transport in Organic Nano-Pores

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoling; Xiao, Lizhi; Shan, Xiaowen; Guo, Long

    2014-01-01

    Permeability is a key parameter for investigating the flow ability of sedimentary rocks. The conventional model for calculating permeability is derived from Darcy's law, which is valid only for continuum flow in porous rocks. We discussed the feasibility of simulating methane transport characteristics in the organic nano-pores of shale through the Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM). As a first attempt, the effects of high Knudsen number and the associated slip flow are considered, whereas the effect of adsorption in the capillary tube is left for future work. Simulation results show that at small Knudsen number, LBM results agree well with Poiseuille's law, and flow rate (flow capacity) is proportional to the square of the pore scale. At higher Knudsen numbers, the relaxation time needs to be corrected. In addition, velocity increases as the slip effect causes non negligible velocities on the pore wall, thereby enhancing the flow rate inside the pore, i.e., the permeability. Therefore, the LBM simulation of gas flow characteristics in organic nano-pores provides an effective way of evaluating the permeability of gas-bearing shale. PMID:24784022

  5. A new nanocomposite forward osmosis membrane custom-designed for treating shale gas wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Detao; Liu, Zhaoyang; Delai Sun, Darren; Song, Xiaoxiao; Bai, Hongwei

    2015-01-01

    Managing the wastewater discharged from oil and shale gas fields is a big challenge, because this kind of wastewater is normally polluted by high contents of both oils and salts. Conventional pressure-driven membranes experience little success for treating this wastewater because of either severe membrane fouling or incapability of desalination. In this study, we designed a new nanocomposite forward osmosis (FO) membrane for accomplishing simultaneous oil/water separation and desalination. This nanocomposite FO membrane is composed of an oil-repelling and salt-rejecting hydrogel selective layer on top of a graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets infused polymeric support layer. The hydrogel selective layer demonstrates strong underwater oleophobicity that leads to superior anti-fouling capability under various oil/water emulsions, and the infused GO in support layer can significantly mitigate internal concentration polarization (ICP) through reducing FO membrane structural parameter by as much as 20%. Compared with commercial FO membrane, this new FO membrane demonstrates more than three times higher water flux, higher removals for oil and salts (>99.9% for oil and >99.7% for multivalent ions) and significantly lower fouling tendency when investigated with simulated shale gas wastewater. These combined merits will endorse this new FO membrane with wide applications in treating highly saline and oily wastewaters. PMID:26416014

  6. A new nanocomposite forward osmosis membrane custom-designed for treating shale gas wastewater.

    PubMed

    Qin, Detao; Liu, Zhaoyang; Delai Sun, Darren; Song, Xiaoxiao; Bai, Hongwei

    2015-09-29

    Managing the wastewater discharged from oil and shale gas fields is a big challenge, because this kind of wastewater is normally polluted by high contents of both oils and salts. Conventional pressure-driven membranes experience little success for treating this wastewater because of either severe membrane fouling or incapability of desalination. In this study, we designed a new nanocomposite forward osmosis (FO) membrane for accomplishing simultaneous oil/water separation and desalination. This nanocomposite FO membrane is composed of an oil-repelling and salt-rejecting hydrogel selective layer on top of a graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets infused polymeric support layer. The hydrogel selective layer demonstrates strong underwater oleophobicity that leads to superior anti-fouling capability under various oil/water emulsions, and the infused GO in support layer can significantly mitigate internal concentration polarization (ICP) through reducing FO membrane structural parameter by as much as 20%. Compared with commercial FO membrane, this new FO membrane demonstrates more than three times higher water flux, higher removals for oil and salts (>99.9% for oil and >99.7% for multivalent ions) and significantly lower fouling tendency when investigated with simulated shale gas wastewater. These combined merits will endorse this new FO membrane with wide applications in treating highly saline and oily wastewaters.

  7. Lattice Boltzmann simulation of shale gas transport in organic nano-pores.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoling; Xiao, Lizhi; Shan, Xiaowen; Guo, Long

    2014-05-02

    Permeability is a key parameter for investigating the flow ability of sedimentary rocks. The conventional model for calculating permeability is derived from Darcy's law, which is valid only for continuum flow in porous rocks. We discussed the feasibility of simulating methane transport characteristics in the organic nano-pores of shale through the Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM). As a first attempt, the effects of high Knudsen number and the associated slip flow are considered, whereas the effect of adsorption in the capillary tube is left for future work. Simulation results show that at small Knudsen number, LBM results agree well with Poiseuille's law, and flow rate (flow capacity) is proportional to the square of the pore scale. At higher Knudsen numbers, the relaxation time needs to be corrected. In addition, velocity increases as the slip effect causes non negligible velocities on the pore wall, thereby enhancing the flow rate inside the pore, i.e., the permeability. Therefore, the LBM simulation of gas flow characteristics in organic nano-pores provides an effective way of evaluating the permeability of gas-bearing shale.

  8. Lattice Boltzmann Simulation of Shale Gas Transport in Organic Nano-Pores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoling; Xiao, Lizhi; Shan, Xiaowen; Guo, Long

    2014-05-01

    Permeability is a key parameter for investigating the flow ability of sedimentary rocks. The conventional model for calculating permeability is derived from Darcy's law, which is valid only for continuum flow in porous rocks. We discussed the feasibility of simulating methane transport characteristics in the organic nano-pores of shale through the Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM). As a first attempt, the effects of high Knudsen number and the associated slip flow are considered, whereas the effect of adsorption in the capillary tube is left for future work. Simulation results show that at small Knudsen number, LBM results agree well with Poiseuille's law, and flow rate (flow capacity) is proportional to the square of the pore scale. At higher Knudsen numbers, the relaxation time needs to be corrected. In addition, velocity increases as the slip effect causes non negligible velocities on the pore wall, thereby enhancing the flow rate inside the pore, i.e., the permeability. Therefore, the LBM simulation of gas flow characteristics in organic nano-pores provides an effective way of evaluating the permeability of gas-bearing shale.

  9. Predictive estimation of upward pollutant migration during shale gas production using satellite image processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyalko, Vadim; Azimov, Oleksandr; Yakovlev, Yevgen

    2016-07-01

    The report considers the relevance of the application of modern remote aerospace and hydrogeological methods in the problems of the ecological safety for the hydrosphere during shale gas production in Ukraine. Case studies of pilot implementation of these methods are present for the Bilyaivska area adjacent to the Yuzivka licensed site within the Dnieper-Donets Depression. A number of the hydrogeological filtration parameters and the thematic processing for remote sensing data of the Earth enable to obtain the rough estimate of the temporal indices for the upward pollutant migration from the fracturing zone to the groundwater aquifers in the potential process of shale gas production (as an example the 400-Bilyaivska well). It is found that the possible variety of the active permeability in tectonic zone, which may be predicted by using remote sensing of the Earth image interpretation in vicinity of the well, is responsible for the passage time of pollution from the fracturing zone level to the groundwater aquifers one and this time interval spans 50˜5 years.

  10. A new nanocomposite forward osmosis membrane custom-designed for treating shale gas wastewater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Detao; Liu, Zhaoyang; Delai Sun, Darren; Song, Xiaoxiao; Bai, Hongwei

    2015-09-01

    Managing the wastewater discharged from oil and shale gas fields is a big challenge, because this kind of wastewater is normally polluted by high contents of both oils and salts. Conventional pressure-driven membranes experience little success for treating this wastewater because of either severe membrane fouling or incapability of desalination. In this study, we designed a new nanocomposite forward osmosis (FO) membrane for accomplishing simultaneous oil/water separation and desalination. This nanocomposite FO membrane is composed of an oil-repelling and salt-rejecting hydrogel selective layer on top of a graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets infused polymeric support layer. The hydrogel selective layer demonstrates strong underwater oleophobicity that leads to superior anti-fouling capability under various oil/water emulsions, and the infused GO in support layer can significantly mitigate internal concentration polarization (ICP) through reducing FO membrane structural parameter by as much as 20%. Compared with commercial FO membrane, this new FO membrane demonstrates more than three times higher water flux, higher removals for oil and salts (>99.9% for oil and >99.7% for multivalent ions) and significantly lower fouling tendency when investigated with simulated shale gas wastewater. These combined merits will endorse this new FO membrane with wide applications in treating highly saline and oily wastewaters.

  11. The Energy-Water Nexus: potential groundwater-quality degradation associated with production of shale gas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kharaka, Yousif K.; Thordsen, James J.; Conaway, Christopher H.; Thomas, Randal B.

    2013-01-01

    Oil and natural gas have been the main sources of primary energy in the USA, providing 63% of the total energy consumption in 2011. Petroleum production, drilling operations, and improperly sealed abandoned wells have caused significant local groundwater contamination in many states, including at the USGS OSPER sites in Oklahoma. The potential for groundwater contamination is higher when producing natural gas and oil from unconventional sources of energy, including shale and tight sandstones. These reservoirs require horizontally-completed wells and massive hydraulic fracturing that injects large volumes (up to 50,000 m3/well) of high-pressured water with added proppant, and toxic organic and inorganic chemicals. Recent results show that flow back and produced waters from Haynesville (Texas) and Marcellus (Pennsylvania) Shale have high salinities (≥200,000 mg/L TDS) and high NORMs (up to 10,000 picocuries/L) concentrations. A major research effort is needed worldwide to minimize all potential environmental impacts, especially groundwater contamination and induced seismicity, when producing these extremely important new sources of energy.

  12. Contested Technologies and Design for Values: The Case of Shale Gas.

    PubMed

    Dignum, Marloes; Correljé, Aad; Cuppen, Eefje; Pesch, Udo; Taebi, Behnam

    2016-08-01

    The introduction of new energy technologies may lead to public resistance and contestation. It is often argued that this phenomenon is caused by an inadequate inclusion of relevant public values in the design of technology. In this paper we examine the applicability of the value sensitive design (VSD) approach. While VSD was primarily introduced for incorporating values in technological design, our focus in this paper is expanded towards the design of the institutions surrounding these technologies, as well as the design of stakeholder participation. One important methodological challenge of VSD is to identify the relevant values related to new technological developments. In this paper, we argue that the public debate can form a rich source from which to retrieve the values at stake. To demonstrate this, we have examined the arguments used in the public debate regarding the exploration and exploitation of shale gas in the Netherlands. We identified two important sets of the underlying values, namely substantive and procedural values. This paper concludes with two key findings. Firstly, contrary to what is often suggested in the literature, both proponents and opponents seem to endorse the same values. Secondly, contestation seems to arise in the precise operationalization of these values among the different stakeholders. In other words, contestation in the Dutch shale gas debate does not arise from inter-value conflict but rather from intra-value conflicts. This multi-interpretability should be incorporated in VSD processes.

  13. The Spatial and Temporal Consumptive Water Use Impacts of Rapid Shale Gas Development and Use in Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacsi, A. P.; Allen, D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past several years, the development of shale gas resources has proceeded rapidly in many areas of the United States, and this shale gas development requires the use of millions of gallons of water, per well, for hydraulic fracturing. Recent life cycle assessments of natural gas from shale formations have calculated the potential for water use reduction when water use is integrated along the entire natural gas supply chain, if the shale gas is used in natural-gas power plants to displace coal-fired electricity generation. Actual grid operation, however, is more complicated and would require both that sufficient unused natural gas generation capacity exists for the displacement of coal-fired power generation and that the natural gas price is low enough that the switching is financially feasible. In addition, water savings, which would occur mainly from a reduction in the cooling water demand at coal-fired power plants, may occur in different regions and at different times than water used in natural gas production. Thus, consumptive water impacts may be spatial and temporally disparate, which is not a consideration in current life-cycle literature. The development of shale gas resources in Texas in August 2008 through December 2009 was chosen as a case study for characterizing this phenomenon since Texas accounted for two-thirds of the shale gas produced in the United States during this period and since the price of natural gas for electricity generation dropped significantly over the episode. Changes to the Texas self-contained electric grid (ERCOT) for a scenario with actual natural gas production and prices was estimated using a constrained grid model, rather than assuming that natural gas generation would displace coal-fired power plant usage. The actual development scenario was compared to an alternative development scenario in which natural gas prices remained elevated throughout the episode. Upstream changes in water consumption from lignite (coal

  14. Gas Flow Tightly Coupled to Elastoplastic Geomechanics for Tight- and Shale-Gas Reservoirs: Material Failure and Enhanced Permeability

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jihoon; Moridis, George J.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate coupled flow and geomechanics in gas production from extremely low permeability reservoirs such as tight and shale gas reservoirs, using dynamic porosity and permeability during numerical simulation. In particular, we take the intrinsic permeability as a step function of the status of material failure, and the permeability is updated every time step. We consider gas reservoirs with the vertical and horizontal primary fractures, employing the single and dynamic double porosity (dual continuum) models. We modify the multiple porosity constitutive relations for modeling the double porous continua for flow and geomechanics. The numerical results indicate that production of gas causes redistribution of the effective stress fields, increasing the effective shear stress and resulting in plasticity. Shear failure occurs not only near the fracture tips but also away from the primary fractures, which indicates generation of secondary fractures. These secondary fractures increase the permeability significantly, and change the flow pattern, which in turn causes a change in distribution of geomechanical variables. From various numerical tests, we find that shear failure is enhanced by a large pressure drop at the production well, high Biot's coefficient, low frictional and dilation angles. Smaller spacing between the horizontal wells also contributes to faster secondary fracturing. When the dynamic double porosity model is used, we observe a faster evolution of the enhanced permeability areas than that obtained from the single porosity model, mainly due to a higher permeability of the fractures in the double porosity model. These complicated physics for stress sensitive reservoirs cannot properly be captured by the uncoupled or flow-only simulation, and thus tightly coupled flow and geomechanical models are highly recommended to accurately describe the reservoir behavior during gas production in tight and shale gas reservoirs and to smartly design production

  15. Evaluation of the Resource Potential of Shale Hydrocarbons on the Territory Tatarstan Republic (Volga-Ural oil and gas province)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muslimov, Renat; Plotnikova, Irina

    2015-04-01

    Volga-Ural provinces of Eastern European platform are referred to industrial developed areas of oil production with the deteriorating structure of residual hydrocarbon reserves, forcing to search for new reserves of raw materials growth, including unconventional sources of hydrocarbons - shale strata. The top priority for the study and evaluation of this territory are complexes of Domanic and Domanician shale deposits (Upper Devonian carbonate-siliceous-clays horizons that contain a significant amount of ТОС). In the present report the prospects of the development of shale oil facilities design methods in Tatarstan are considered. A program for evaluation of oil and gas deposits prospects is worked out. The stages of its realization are described. A preliminary estimate of the cost of the program is made. Research on the evaluation criteria of shale oil and gas is conducted to accurately assess the resource potential of shale oil. Statistic analysis of the geochemical index of hydrocarbon source rocks in some areas of the Tatarstan (such as Melekessky basin, South-Tatar arch, North-Tatar arch and other) based on the characteristic of triple-division between the oil content and TOC of source rock, suggests that shale oil can be categorized into different levels of resource enrichment. The report contains results of analysis of organic matter porosity and permeability distribution in domanik type rocks on the Tatarstan area. First estimation of resource potential of shale hydrocarbons in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan were carried out. Resource assessment carried out for domanik rocks of the Ust-Cheremshansk deflection in the Melekess depression. Method of evaluation provided an opportunity to evaluate amount of mobile hydrocarbons in dense shale rock. Still the question of the degree of maturity of the organic substance remains open. A detailed analysis of the pyrolysis was performed. The study of lithology and geochemistry allowed to develop shale

  16. An evaluation of water quality in private drinking water wells near natural gas extraction sites in the Barnett Shale formation.

    PubMed

    Fontenot, Brian E; Hunt, Laura R; Hildenbrand, Zacariah L; Carlton, Doug D; Oka, Hyppolite; Walton, Jayme L; Hopkins, Dan; Osorio, Alexandra; Bjorndal, Bryan; Hu, Qinhong H; Schug, Kevin A

    2013-09-03

    Natural gas has become a leading source of alternative energy with the advent of techniques to economically extract gas reserves from deep shale formations. Here, we present an assessment of private well water quality in aquifers overlying the Barnett Shale formation of North Texas. We evaluated samples from 100 private drinking water wells using analytical chemistry techniques. Analyses revealed that arsenic, selenium, strontium and total dissolved solids (TDS) exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) in some samples from private water wells located within 3 km of active natural gas wells. Lower levels of arsenic, selenium, strontium, and barium were detected at reference sites outside the Barnett Shale region as well as sites within the Barnett Shale region located more than 3 km from active natural gas wells. Methanol and ethanol were also detected in 29% of samples. Samples exceeding MCL levels were randomly distributed within areas of active natural gas extraction, and the spatial patterns in our data suggest that elevated constituent levels could be due to a variety of factors including mobilization of natural constituents, hydrogeochemical changes from lowering of the water table, or industrial accidents such as faulty gas well casings.

  17. Shale gas produced water treatment using innovative microbial capacitive desalination cell.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Zachary A; Forrestal, Casey; Ren, Zhiyong Jason; Xu, Pei

    2015-01-01

    The rapid development of unconventional oil and gas production has generated large amounts of wastewater for disposal, raising significant environmental and public health concerns. Treatment and beneficial use of produced water presents many challenges due to its high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons and salinity. The objectives of this study were to investigate the feasibility of treating actual shale gas produced water using a bioelectrochemical system integrated with capacitive deionization-a microbial capacitive desalination cell (MCDC). Microbial degradation of organic compounds in the anode generated an electric potential that drove the desalination of produced water. Sorption and biodegradation resulted in a combined organic removal rate of 6.4 mg dissolved organic carbon per hour in the reactor, and the MCDC removed 36 mg salt per gram of carbon electrode per hour from produced water. This study is a proof-of-concept that the MCDC can be used to combine organic degradation with desalination of contaminated water without external energy input.

  18. Clay mineralogy of the malmian source rock of the Vienna Basin: Effects on shale gas exploration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schicker, Andrea; Gier, Susanne; Herzog, Ulrich

    2010-05-01

    In an unique opportunity the diagenetic changes of clay minerals of a marlstone formation with only minor differences in provenance and depositional environment was studied from shallow (1400 m) to very deep (8550 m) burial. The clay mineralogy of 46 core samples from ten wells was quantified with X-ray diffraction in applying the mineral intensity factor (MIF)-method of Moore and Reynolds (1997). The clay fraction of the marlstone contains a prominent illite/smectite (I/S) mixed-layer mineral (20 to 70 wt%), illite (20 to 70 wt%), chlorite (0.5 to 12 wt%) and kaolinite (2 to 17 wt%). The amounts of I/S and kaolinite decrease with depth, whereas illite and chlorite increase. A gradual transformation of smectite to illite through mixed-layer I/S intermediates is recognized. With increasing depth the illite content in I/S intermediates increases from 25% to 90% in parallel the ordering of the mixed layer I/S changes from R0 (25% illite in I/S) to R1 (60-80% illite in I/S) to R3 (90% illite in I/S). R3 ordering prevails at depths greater than 4000 m and implies that the effect of the expandable mineral smectite is negligible. This paper covers a part of a shale gas feasibility study on the main Vienna Basin hydrocarbon source rock (Mikulov Formation, a Malmian marlstone) recently performed by OMV. Shale gas production usually is enabled by pumping fluids (mainly water) into a gas-mature source rock in order to generate fracture permeability. Expandable clays within the source rock can dramatically reduce stimulation effectiveness and gas production. Moore and Reynolds (1997) X-ray diffraction and the identification and analysis of clay minerals. Oxford University Press, New York, 378 p.

  19. Stream macroinvertebrate communities across a gradient of natural gas development in the Fayetteville Shale.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Erica; Austin, Bradley J; Inlander, Ethan; Gallipeau, Cory; Evans-White, Michelle A; Entrekin, Sally

    2015-10-15

    Oil and gas extraction in shale plays expanded rapidly in the U.S. and is projected to expand globally in the coming decades. Arkansas has doubled the number of gas wells in the state since 2005 mostly by extracting gas from the Fayetteville Shale with activity concentrated in mixed pasture-deciduous forests. Concentrated well pads in close proximity to streams could have adverse effects on stream water quality and biota if sedimentation associated with developing infrastructure or contamination from fracturing fluid and waste occurs. Cumulative effects of gas activity and local habitat conditions on macroinvertebrate communities were investigated across a gradient of gas well activity (0.2-3.6 wells per km(2)) in ten stream catchments in spring 2010 and 2011. In 2010, macroinvertebrate density was positively related to well pad inverse flowpath distance from streams (r=0.84, p<0.001). Relatively tolerant mayflies Baetis and Caenis (r=0.64, p=0.04), filtering hydropsychid caddisflies (r=0.73, p=0.01), and chironomid midge densities (r=0.79, p=0.008) also increased in streams where more well pads were closer to stream channels. Macroinvertebrate trophic structure reflected environmental conditions with greater sediment and primary production in streams with more gas activity close to streams. However, stream water turbidity (r=0.69, p=0.02) and chlorophyll a (r=0.89, p<0.001) were the only in-stream variables correlated with gas well activities. In 2011, a year with record spring flooding, a different pattern emerged where mayfly density (p=0.74, p=0.01) and mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly richness (r=0.78, p=0.008) increased in streams with greater well density and less silt cover. Hydrology and well pad placement in a catchment may interact to result in different relationships between biota and catchment activity between the two sample years. Our data show evidence of different macroinvertebrate communities expressed in catchments with different levels of gas

  20. Gas Flow Tightly Coupled to Elastoplastic Geomechanics for Tight- and Shale-Gas Reservoirs: Material Failure and Enhanced Permeability

    DOE PAGES

    Kim, Jihoon; Moridis, George J.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate coupled flow and geomechanics in gas production from extremely low permeability reservoirs such as tight and shale gas reservoirs, using dynamic porosity and permeability during numerical simulation. In particular, we take the intrinsic permeability as a step function of the status of material failure, and the permeability is updated every time step. We consider gas reservoirs with the vertical and horizontal primary fractures, employing the single and dynamic double porosity (dual continuum) models. We modify the multiple porosity constitutive relations for modeling the double porous continua for flow and geomechanics. The numerical results indicate that production of gasmore » causes redistribution of the effective stress fields, increasing the effective shear stress and resulting in plasticity. Shear failure occurs not only near the fracture tips but also away from the primary fractures, which indicates generation of secondary fractures. These secondary fractures increase the permeability significantly, and change the flow pattern, which in turn causes a change in distribution of geomechanical variables. From various numerical tests, we find that shear failure is enhanced by a large pressure drop at the production well, high Biot's coefficient, low frictional and dilation angles. Smaller spacing between the horizontal wells also contributes to faster secondary fracturing. When the dynamic double porosity model is used, we observe a faster evolution of the enhanced permeability areas than that obtained from the single porosity model, mainly due to a higher permeability of the fractures in the double porosity model. These complicated physics for stress sensitive reservoirs cannot properly be captured by the uncoupled or flow-only simulation, and thus tightly coupled flow and geomechanical models are highly recommended to accurately describe the reservoir behavior during gas production in tight and shale gas reservoirs and to smartly design

  1. Anthropogenic and natural methane emissions from a shale gas exploration area of Quebec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Pinti, Daniele L; Gelinas, Yves; Moritz, Anja M; Larocque, Marie; Sano, Yuji

    2016-10-01

    The increasing number of studies on the determination of natural methane in groundwater of shale gas prospection areas offers a unique opportunity for refining the quantification of natural methane emissions. Here methane emissions, computed from four potential sources, are reported for an area of ca. 16,500km(2) of the St. Lawrence Lowlands, Quebec (Canada), where Utica shales are targeted by the petroleum industry. Methane emissions can be caused by 1) groundwater degassing as a result of groundwater abstraction for domestic and municipal uses; 2) groundwater discharge along rivers; 3) migration to the surface by (macro- and micro-) diffuse seepage; 4) degassing of hydraulic fracturing fluids during first phases of drilling. Methane emissions related to groundwater discharge to rivers (2.47×10(-4) to 9.35×10(-3)Tgyr(-1)) surpass those of diffuse seepage (4.13×10(-6) to 7.14×10(-5)Tgyr(-1)) and groundwater abstraction (6.35×10(-6) to 2.49×10(-4)Tgyr(-1)). The methane emission from the degassing of flowback waters during drilling of the Utica shale over a 10- to 20-year horizon is estimated from 2.55×10(-3) to 1.62×10(-2)Tgyr(-1). These emissions are from one third to sixty-six times the methane emissions from groundwater discharge to rivers. This study shows that different methane emission sources need to be considered in environmental assessments of methane exploitation projects to better understand their impacts.

  2. Cliffs Minerals, Inc. Eastern Gas Shales Project, Ohio No. 6 series: Gallia County. Phase II report. Preliminary laboratory results

    SciTech Connect

    1980-06-01

    The US Department of Energy is funding a research and development program entitled the Eastern Gas Shales Project designed to increase commercial production of natural gas in the eastern United States from Middle and Upper Devonian Shales. On September 28, 1978 the Department of Energy entered into a cooperative agreement with Mitchell Energy Corporation to explore Devonian shale gas potential in Gallia County, Ohio. Objectives of the cost-sharing contract were the following: (1) to select locations for a series of five wells to be drilled around the periphery of a possible gas reservoir in Gallia County, Ohio; (2) to drill, core, log, case, fracture, clean up, and test each well, and to monitor production from the wells for a five-year period. This report summarizes the procedures and results of core characterization work performed at the Eastern Gas Shales Project Core Laboratory on core retrieved from the Gallia County EGSP wells, designated OH No. 6/1, OH No. 6/2, OH No. 6/3, OH No. 6/4, and OH No. 6/5. Characterization work performed includes photographic logs, fracture logs, measurements of core color variation, and stratigraphic interpretation of the cored intervals. In addition the following tests were performed by Michigan Technological University to obtain the following data: directional ultrasonic velocity; directional tensile strength, strength in point load; trends of microfractures; and hydraulic fracturing characteristics.

  3. Analysis of Devonian Black Shales in Kentucky for Potential Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Enhanced Natural Gas Production

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall; Cortland F. Eble; James A. Drahovzal; R. Marc Bustin

    2005-09-30

    Carbonaceous (black) Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In these shales, natural gas occurs in the intergranular and fracture porosity and is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO2 is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO2. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine both CO2 and CH4 adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO2 displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO2 adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton in the more organic-rich zones. There is a direct linear correlation between measured total organic carbon content and the adsorptive capacity of the shale; CO2 adsorption capacity increases with increasing organic carbon content. Initial volumetric estimates based on these data indicate a CO2 sequestration capacity of as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. In the Big Sandy Gas Field area of eastern Kentucky, calculations using the net thickness of shale with 4 percent or greater total organic carbon, indicate that 6.8 billion tonnes of CO2 could be sequestered in the five county area. Discounting the uncertainties in reservoir volume and injection efficiency, these results indicate that the black shales of Kentucky are a potentially large geologic sink for CO2. Moreover, the extensive occurrence of gas shales in Paleozoic and Mesozoic

  4. Recovery of retorted shale from an oil shale retorting process

    SciTech Connect

    Deering, R.F.; Duir, J.H.

    1984-05-01

    Retorted shale particles are recovered from a retort and delivered to a gas lift for transport to a fluidized combustor by passage, serially, through a sealing vessel, a crusher preferably operating at retort pressure, and a surge vessel. In the sealing vessel, a sealing gas is introduced, and after commingling with the shale, the gas passes counter-currently to the shale and enters the retort, thus sealing the retort gases in the retort while separating the retorted shale from the retort gases. Retorted shale from the sealing vessel is transported to a crusher, wherein the shale is reduced in size to that suitable for combustion under fluidized conditions. To prevent the crushed shale from packing, the shale is passed to a surge vessel, wherein the crushed shale is held as a fluidized bed, from which the crushed shale is continuously withdrawn at a regulated rate and introduced into the gas lift leading to the fluidized combustor.

  5. ANALYSIS OF DEVONIAN BLACK SHALES IN KENTUCKY FOR POTENTIAL CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION AND ENHANCED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Brandon C. Nuttall

    2005-01-01

    Devonian gas shales underlie approximately two-thirds of Kentucky. In the shale, natural gas is adsorbed on clay and kerogen surfaces. This is analogous to methane storage in coal beds, where CO{sub 2} is preferentially adsorbed, displacing methane. Black shales may similarly desorb methane in the presence of CO{sub 2}. Drill cuttings from the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library were sampled to determine CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} adsorption isotherms. Sidewall core samples were acquired to investigate CO{sub 2} displacement of methane. An elemental capture spectroscopy log was acquired to investigate possible correlations between adsorption capacity and mineralogy. Average random vitrinite reflectance data range from 0.78 to 1.59 (upper oil to wet gas and condensate hydrocarbon maturity range). Total organic content determined from acid-washed samples ranges from 0.69 to 14 percent. CO{sub 2} adsorption capacities at 400 psi range from a low of 14 scf/ton in less organic-rich zones to more than 136 scf/ton. Initial estimates based on these data indicate a sequestration capacity of 5.3 billion tons of CO{sub 2} in the Lower Huron Member of the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky and as much as 28 billion tons total in the deeper and thicker parts of the Devonian shales in Kentucky. Should the black shales of Kentucky prove to be a viable geologic sink for CO{sub 2}, their extensive occurrence in Paleozoic basins across North America would make them an attractive regional target for economic CO{sub 2} storage and enhanced natural gas production.

  6. Quantification of methane emissions from natural gas extraction from the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and northeastern Marcellus shale regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peischl, J.; Ryerson, T. B.; Trainer, M.; De Gouw, J. A.; Warneke, C.; Parrish, D. D.

    2013-12-01

    We present airborne measurements of methane over three regions of natural gas extraction taken aboard a NOAA WP-3D research aircraft in June and July, 2013, as part of the Southeast Nexus (SENEX) field project. The three regions are (1) the Haynesville and (2) Fayetteville shale plays, located in eastern Texas/western Louisiana and western Arkansas, respectively, and (3) a part of the Marcellus shale play located in northeastern Pennsylvania. From these measurements, we derive methane emission rate estimates by calculating the methane advection flux in the planetary boundary layer downwind of the region, minus the methane flux upwind of the region. By attributing the methane emissions to natural gas extraction, we place an upper limit on the natural gas emissions from the region. We then compare this emission to the total volume of natural gas extracted from the region to derive an upper limit on the natural gas leak rate from extraction operations.

  7. Characterization and Analysis of Liquid Waste from Marcellus Shale Gas Development.

    PubMed

    Shih, Jhih-Shyang; Saiers, James E; Anisfeld, Shimon C; Chu, Ziyan; Muehlenbachs, Lucija A; Olmstead, Sheila M

    2015-08-18

    Hydraulic fracturing of shale for gas production in Pennsylvania generates large quantities of wastewater, the composition of which has been inadequately characterized. We compiled a unique data set from state-required wastewater generator reports filed in 2009-2011. The resulting data set, comprising 160 samples of flowback, produced water, and drilling wastes, analyzed for 84 different chemicals, is the most comprehensive available to date for Marcellus Shale wastewater. We analyzed the data set using the Kaplan-Meier method to deal with the high prevalence of nondetects for some analytes, and compared wastewater characteristics with permitted effluent limits and ambient monitoring limits and capacity. Major-ion concentrations suggested that most wastewater samples originated from dilution of brines, although some of our samples were more concentrated than any Marcellus brines previously reported. One problematic aspect of this wastewater was the very high concentrations of soluble constituents such as chloride, which are poorly removed by wastewater treatment plants; the vast majority of samples exceeded relevant water quality thresholds, generally by 2-3 orders of magnitude. We also examine the capacity of regional regulatory monitoring to assess and control these risks.

  8. Microbial communities in flowback water impoundments from hydraulic fracturing for recovery of shale gas

    SciTech Connect

    Mohan, Arvind Murali; Hartsock, Angela; Hammack, Richard W; Vidic, Radisav D; Gregory, Kelvin B

    2013-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction from shale produces waste brine known as flowback that is impounded at the surface prior to reuse and/or disposal. During impoundment, microbial activity can alter the fate of metals including radionuclides, give rise to odorous compounds, and result in biocorrosion that complicates water and waste management and increases production costs. Here, we describe the microbial ecology at multiple depths of three flowback impoundments from the Marcellus shale that were managed differently. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed that bacterial communities in the untreated and biocide-amended impoundments were depth dependent, diverse, and most similar to species within the taxa [gamma]-proteobacteria, [alpha]-proteobacteria, δ-proteobacteria, Clostridia, Synergistetes, Thermotogae, Spirochetes, and Bacteroidetes. The bacterial community in the pretreated and aerated impoundment was uniform with depth, less diverse, and most similar to known iodide-oxidizing bacteria in the [alpha]-proteobacteria. Archaea were identified only in the untreated and biocide-amended impoundments and were affiliated to the Methanomicrobia class. This is the first study of microbial communities in flowback water impoundments from hydraulic fracturing. The findings expand our knowledge of microbial diversity of an emergent and unexplored environment and may guide the management of flowback impoundments.

  9. Microbial communities in flowback water impoundments from hydraulic fracturing for recovery of shale gas.

    PubMed

    Murali Mohan, Arvind; Hartsock, Angela; Hammack, Richard W; Vidic, Radisav D; Gregory, Kelvin B

    2013-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction from shale produces waste brine known as flowback that is impounded at the surface prior to reuse and/or disposal. During impoundment, microbial activity can alter the fate of metals including radionuclides, give rise to odorous compounds, and result in biocorrosion that complicates water and waste management and increases production costs. Here, we describe the microbial ecology at multiple depths of three flowback impoundments from the Marcellus shale that were managed differently. 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed that bacterial communities in the untreated and biocide-amended impoundments were depth dependent, diverse, and most similar to species within the taxa γ-proteobacteria, α-proteobacteria, δ-proteobacteria, Clostridia, Synergistetes, Thermotogae, Spirochetes, and Bacteroidetes. The bacterial community in the pretreated and aerated impoundment was uniform with depth, less diverse, and most similar to known iodide-oxidizing bacteria in the α-proteobacteria. Archaea were identified only in the untreated and biocide-amended impoundments and were affiliated to the Methanomicrobia class. This is the first study of microbial communities in flowback water impoundments from hydraulic fracturing. The findings expand our knowledge of microbial diversity of an emergent and unexplored environment and may guide the management of flowback impoundments.

  10. Mississippian Barnett Shale, Fort Worth basin, north-central Texas: Gas-shale play with multi-trillion cubic foot potential

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montgomery, S.L.; Jarvie, D.M.; Bowker, K.A.; Pollastro, R.M.

    2005-01-01

    The Mississippian Barnett Shale serves as source, seal, and reservoir to a world-class unconventional natural-gas accumulation in the Fort Worth basin of north-central Texas. The formation is a lithologically complex interval of low permeability that requires artificial stimulation to produce. At present, production is mainly confined to a limited portion of the northern basin where the Barnett Shale is relatively thick (>300 ft; >92 m), organic rich (present-day total organic carbon > 3.0%), thermally mature (vitrinite reflectance > 1.1%), and enclosed by dense limestone units able to contain induced fractures. The most actively drilled area is Newark East field, currently the largest gas field in Texas. Newark East is 400 mi2 (1036 km2) in extent, with more than 2340 producing wells and about 2.7 tcf of booked gas reserves. Cumulative gas production from Barnett Shale wells through 2003 was about 0.8 tcf. Wells in Newark East field typically produce from depths of 7500 ft (2285 m) at rates ranging from 0.5 to more than 4 mmcf/day. Estimated ultimate recoveries per well range from 0.75 to as high as 7.0 bcf. Efforts to extend the current Barnett play beyond the field limits have encountered several challenges, including westward and northward increases in oil saturation and the absence of lithologic barriers to induced fracture growth. Patterns of oil and gas occurrence in the Barnett, in conjunction with maturation and burial-history data, indicate a complex, multiphased thermal evolution, with episodic expulsion of hydrocarbons and secondary cracking of primary oils to gas in portions of the basin where paleotemperatures were especially elevated. These and other data imply a large-potential Barnett resource for the basin as a whole (possibly > 200 tcf gas in place). Recent assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests a mean volume of 26.2 tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas in the central Fort Worth basin. Recovery of a significant portion of

  11. Converting oil shale to liquid fuels: energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions of the Shell in situ conversion process.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Adam R

    2008-10-01

    Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains kerogen, a fossil organic material. Kerogen can be heated to produce oil and gas (retorted). This has traditionally been a CO2-intensive process. In this paper, the Shell in situ conversion process (ICP), which is a novel method of retorting oil shale in place, is analyzed. The ICP utilizes electricity to heat the underground shale over a period of 2 years. Hydrocarbons are produced using conventional oil production techniques, leaving shale oil coke within the formation. The energy inputs and outputs from the ICP, as applied to oil shales of the Green River formation, are modeled. Using these energy inputs, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the ICP are calculated and are compared to emissions from conventional petroleum. Energy outputs (as refined liquid fuel) are 1.2-1.6 times greater than the total primary energy inputs to the process. In the absence of capturing CO2 generated from electricity produced to fuel the process, well-to-pump GHG emissions are in the range of 30.6-37.1 grams of carbon equivalent per megajoule of liquid fuel produced. These full-fuel-cycle emissions are 21%-47% larger than those from conventionally produced petroleum-based fuels.

  12. Estimating fracture spacing from natural tracers in shale-gas production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, S. J.; McKenna, S. A.; Heath, J. E.; Gardner, P.

    2012-12-01

    Resource appraisal and long-term recovery potential of shale gas relies on the characteristics of the fracture networks created within the formation. Both well testing and analysis of micro-seismic data can provide information on fracture characteristics, but approaches that directly utilize observations of gas transport through the fractures are not well-developed. We examine transport of natural tracers and analyze the breakthrough curves (BTC's) of these tracers with a multi-rate mass transfer (MMT) model to elucidate fracture characteristics. The focus here is on numerical simulation studies to determine constraints on the ability to accurately estimate fracture network characteristics as a function of the diffusion coefficients of the natural tracers, the number and timing of observations, the flow rates from the well, and the noise in the observations. Traditional tracer testing approaches for dual-porosity systems analyze the BTC of an injected tracer to obtain fracture spacing considering a single spacing value. An alternative model is the MMT model where diffusive mass transfer occurs simultaneously over a range of matrix block sizes defined by a statistical distribution (e.g., log-normal, gamma, or power-law). The goal of the estimation is defining the parameters of the fracture spacing distribution. The MMT model has not yet been applied to analysis of natural in situ natural tracers. Natural tracers are omnipresent in the subsurface, potentially obviating the needed for introduced tracers, and could be used to improve upon fracture characteristics estimated from pressure transient and decline curve production analysis. Results of this study provide guidance for data collection and analysis of natural tracers in fractured shale formations. Parameter estimation on simulated BTC's will provide guidance on the necessary timing of BTC sampling in field experiments. The MMT model can result in non-unique or nonphysical parameter estimates. We address this

  13. Stream measurements locate thermogenic methane fluxes in groundwater discharge in an area of shale-gas development.

    PubMed

    Heilweil, Victor M; Grieve, Paul L; Hynek, Scott A; Brantley, Susan L; Solomon, D Kip; Risser, Dennis W

    2015-04-07

    The environmental impacts of shale-gas development on water resources, including methane migration to shallow groundwater, have been difficult to assess. Monitoring around gas wells is generally limited to domestic water-supply wells, which often are not situated along predominant groundwater flow paths. A new concept is tested here: combining stream hydrocarbon and noble-gas measurements with reach mass-balance modeling to estimate thermogenic methane concentrations and fluxes in groundwater discharging to streams and to constrain methane sources. In the Marcellus Formation shale-gas play of northern Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), we sampled methane in 15 streams as a reconnaissance tool to locate methane-laden groundwater discharge: concentrations up to 69 μg L(-1) were observed, with four streams ≥ 5 μg L(-1). Geochemical analyses of water from one stream with high methane (Sugar Run, Lycoming County) were consistent with Middle Devonian gases. After sampling was completed, we learned of a state regulator investigation of stray-gas migration from a nearby Marcellus Formation gas well. Modeling indicates a groundwater thermogenic methane flux of about 0.5 kg d(-1) discharging into Sugar Run, possibly from this fugitive gas source. Since flow paths often coalesce into gaining streams, stream methane monitoring provides the first watershed-scale method to assess groundwater contamination from shale-gas development.

  14. A Comprehensive Model for Real Gas Transport in Shale Formations with Complex Non-planar Fracture Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ruiyue; Huang, Zhongwei; Yu, Wei; Li, Gensheng; Ren, Wenxi; Zuo, Lihua; Tan, Xiaosi; Sepehrnoori, Kamy; Tian, Shouceng; Sheng, Mao

    2016-11-01

    A complex fracture network is generally generated during the hydraulic fracturing treatment in shale gas reservoirs. Numerous efforts have been made to model the flow behavior of such fracture networks. However, it is still challenging to predict the impacts of various gas transport mechanisms on well performance with arbitrary fracture geometry in a computationally efficient manner. We develop a robust and comprehensive model for real gas transport in shales with complex non-planar fracture network. Contributions of gas transport mechanisms and fracture complexity to well productivity and rate transient behavior are systematically analyzed. The major findings are: simple planar fracture can overestimate gas production than non-planar fracture due to less fracture interference. A “hump” that occurs in the transition period and formation linear flow with a slope less than 1/2 can infer the appearance of natural fractures. The sharpness of the “hump” can indicate the complexity and irregularity of the fracture networks. Gas flow mechanisms can extend the transition flow period. The gas desorption could make the “hump” more profound. The Knudsen diffusion and slippage effect play a dominant role in the later production time. Maximizing the fracture complexity through generating large connected networks is an effective way to increase shale gas production.

  15. A Comprehensive Model for Real Gas Transport in Shale Formations with Complex Non-planar Fracture Networks

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ruiyue; Huang, Zhongwei; Yu, Wei; Li, Gensheng; Ren, Wenxi; Zuo, Lihua; Tan, Xiaosi; Sepehrnoori, Kamy; Tian, Shouceng; Sheng, Mao

    2016-01-01

    A complex fracture network is generally generated during the hydraulic fracturing treatment in shale gas reservoirs. Numerous efforts have been made to model the flow behavior of such fracture networks. However, it is still challenging to predict the impacts of various gas transport mechanisms on well performance with arbitrary fracture geometry in a computationally efficient manner. We develop a robust and comprehensive model for real gas transport in shales with complex non-planar fracture network. Contributions of gas transport mechanisms and fracture complexity to well productivity and rate transient behavior are systematically analyzed. The major findings are: simple planar fracture can overestimate gas production than non-planar fracture due to less fracture interference. A “hump” that occurs in the transition period and formation linear flow with a slope less than 1/2 can infer the appearance of natural fractures. The sharpness of the “hump” can indicate the complexity and irregularity of the fracture networks. Gas flow mechanisms can extend the transition flow period. The gas desorption could make the “hump” more profound. The Knudsen diffusion and slippage effect play a dominant role in the later production time. Maximizing the fracture complexity through generating large connected networks is an effective way to increase shale gas production. PMID:27819349

  16. The Pennsylvania Experience with Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development: Relatively Infrequent Water Quality Incidents with Lots of Public Attention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brantley, S. L.; Li, Z.; Yoxtheimer, D.; Vidic, R.

    2015-12-01

    New techniques of hydraulic fracturing - "fracking" - have changed the United States over the last 10 years into a leading producer of natural gas extraction from shale. The first such gas well in Pennsylvania was drilled and completed using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in 2004. By late 2014, more than 8500 of these gas wells had been drilled in the Marcellus Shale gas field in Pennsylvania alone. Almost 1000 public complaints about groundwater quality were logged by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) between 2008 and 2012. Only a fraction of these were attributed to unconventional gas development. The most common problem was gas migration into drinking water, but contamination incidents also included spills, seepage, or leaks of fracking fluids, brine salts, or very occasionally, radioactive species. Many problems of gas migration were from a few counties in the northeastern part of the state. However, sometimes one gas well contaminated multiple water wells. For example, one gas well was reported by the state regulator to have contaminated 18 water wells with methane near Dimock PA. It can be argued that such problems at a relatively small fraction of gas wells initiated pockets of pushback against fracking worldwide. This resistance to fracking has grown even though fracking has been in use in the U.S.A. since the 1940s. We have worked as part of an NSF-funded project (the Shale Network) to share water quality data and publish it online using the CUAHSI Hydrologic Information System. Sharing data has led to collaborative investigation of specific contamination incidents to understand how problems can occur, and to efforts to quantify the frequency of impacts. The Shale Network efforts have also highlighted the need for more transparency with water quality data in the arena related to the energy-water nexus. As more data are released, new techniques of data analysis will allow better understanding of how to tune best practices to be

  17. Assessment of potential shale gas resources of the Bombay, Cauvery, and Krishna-Godavari Provinces, India, 2011

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

    Using a performance-based geologic assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a technically recoverable mean volume of 6.1 trillion cubic feet of potential shale gas in the Bombay, Cauvery, and Krishna-Godavari Provinces of India.

  18. Shale gas characterization of the Dinder and Blue Nile Formations in the Blue Nile Basin, East Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoieb, Monera Adam; Sum, Chow Weng; Bhattachary, Swapan Kumar; Abidin, Nor Syazwani Zainal; Abdelrahim, Omer Babiker

    2016-11-01

    The development of gas and oil in unconventional plays in United State and Northern Europe has affected the finances and the energy security. Geochanical properties of shale rocks can have a major impact on the efficiency of shale gas exploration. The goal of this study is to evaluate shale gas potentiality in the Blue Nile Basin, using samples from existing drilled wells. All the samples were analyzed in detail with the following organic geochemical techniques: total organic carbon (TOC), Rock-eval pyrolysis, to determine the quality and quantity of the organic matter. The total organic carbon (TOC) values for the shale intervals vary from 0.6 to 4.5weight% in FARASHA-1 Well, while in TAWAKUL-1 Well range from 0.4 to 2.4weight%, suggesting that fair to good source generative potential, as revealed by the S2 v's TOC plot. Hydrogen index (HI) values range from 12 to 182 mg HC/g TOC in the two wells, indicating type III and IV derived-input in the samples and their potential to generate gas. However, the Blue Nile and Dinder Formation have Tmax values in the range of 437 to 456°C, indicating early maturity in the oil window. Thus, higher maturity levels have affected the hydrocarbon generation potential and HI of the samples.

  19. Production decline analysis for a multi-fractured horizontal well considering elliptical reservoir stimulated volumes in shale gas reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Mingqiang; Duan, Yonggang; Fang, Quantang; Zhang, Tiantian

    2016-06-01

    Multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHWs) are an effective technique for developing shale gas reservoirs. After fracturing, stimulated reservoir volumes (SRVs) invariably exist around the wellbore. In this paper, a composite elliptical SRV model for each hydraulic fracturing stage is established, based on micro-seismic events. Both the SRV and the outer regions are assumed as single-porosity media with different formation physical parameters. Based on unstructured perpendicular bisection (PEBI) grids, a mathematical model considering Darcy flow, diffusion and adsorption/desorption in shale gas reservoirs is presented. The numerical solution is obtained by combining the control volume finite element method with the fully implicit method. The model is verified by a simplified model solution. The MFHW Blasingame production decline curves, which consider elliptical SRVs in shale gas reservoirs, are plotted by computer programming. The flow regions can be divided into five flow regimes: early formation linear flow, radial flow in the SRV region, transient flow, pseudo radial flow and boundary dominated flow. Finally, the effect of six related parameters, including the SRV area size, outer region permeability, SRV region permeability, Langmuir pressure, Langmuir volume and diffusion coefficient, are analyzed on type curves. The model presented in this paper can expand our understanding of MFHW production decline behaviors in shale gas reservoirs and can be applied to estimate reservoir properties, the SRV area, and reserves in these types of reservoirs by type curve matching.

  20. Numerical investigation of methane and formation fluid leakage along the casing of a decommissioned shale gas well

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowamooz, A.; Lemieux, J.-M.; Molson, J.; Therrien, R.

    2015-06-01

    Methane and brine leakage rates and associated time scales along the cemented casing of a hypothetical decommissioned shale gas well have been assessed with a multiphase flow and multicomponent numerical model. The conceptual model used for the simulations assumes that the target shale formation is 200 m thick, overlain by a 750 m thick caprock, which is in turn overlain by a 50 m thick surficial sand aquifer, the 1000 m geological sequence being intersected by a fully penetrating borehole. This succession of geological units is representative of the region targeted for shale gas exploration in the St. Lawrence Lowlands (Québec, Canada). The simulations aimed at assessing the impact of well casing cementation quality on methane and brine leakage at the base of a surficial aquifer. The leakage of fluids can subsequently lead to the contamination of groundwater resources and/or, in the case of methane migration to ground surface, to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The minimum reported surface casing vent flow (measured at ground level) for shale gas wells in Quebec (0.01 m3/d) is used as a reference to evaluate the impact of well casing cementation quality on methane and brine migration. The simulations suggest that an adequately cemented borehole (with a casing annulus permeability kc≤ 1 mD) can prevent methane and brine leakage over a time scale of up to 100 years. However, a poorly cemented borehole (kc≥ 10 mD) could yield methane leakage rates at the base of an aquifer ranging from 0.04 m3/d to more than 100 m3/d, depending on the permeability of the target shale gas formation after abandonment and on the quantity of mobile gas in the formation. These values are compatible with surface casing vent flows reported for shale gas wells in the St. Lawrence Lowlands (Quebec, Canada). The simulated travel time of methane from the target shale formation to the surficial aquifer is between a few months and 30 years, depending on cementation quality and

  1. The Devonian Marcellus Shale and Millboro Shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soeder, Daniel J.; Enomoto, Catherine B.; Chermak, John A.

    2014-01-01

    The recent development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources in the United States builds upon many decades of research, which included resource assessment and the development of well completion and extraction technology. The Eastern Gas Shales Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1980s, investigated the gas potential of organic-rich, Devonian black shales in the Appalachian, Michigan, and Illinois basins. One of these eastern shales is the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale, which has been extensively developed for natural gas and natural gas liquids since 2007. The Marcellus is one of the basal units in a thick Devonian shale sedimentary sequence in the Appalachian basin. The Marcellus rests on the Onondaga Limestone throughout most of the basin, or on the time-equivalent Needmore Shale in the southeastern parts of the basin. Another basal unit, the Huntersville Chert, underlies the Marcellus in the southern part of the basin. The Devonian section is compressed to the south, and the Marcellus Shale, along with several overlying units, grades into the age-equivalent Millboro Shale in Virginia. The Marcellus-Millboro interval is far from a uniform slab of black rock. This field trip will examine a number of natural and engineered exposures in the vicinity of the West Virginia–Virginia state line, where participants will have the opportunity to view a variety of sedimentary facies within the shale itself, sedimentary structures, tectonic structures, fossils, overlying and underlying formations, volcaniclastic ash beds, and to view a basaltic intrusion.

  2. Energy map of southwestern Wyoming, Part B: oil and gas, oil shale, uranium, and solar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biewick, Laura R.H.; Wilson, Anna B.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled Part B of the Energy Map of Southwestern Wyoming for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). Part B consists of oil and gas, oil shale, uranium, and solar energy resource information in support of the WLCI. The WLCI represents the USGS partnership with other Department of the Interior Bureaus, State and local agencies, industry, academia, and private landowners, all of whom collaborate to maintain healthy landscapes, sustain wildlife, and preserve recreational and grazing uses while developing energy resources in southwestern Wyoming. This product is the second and final part of the Energy Map of Southwestern Wyoming series (also see USGS Data Series 683, http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/683/), and encompasses all of Carbon, Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, and Uinta Counties, as well as areas in Fremont County that are in the Great Divide and Green River Basins.

  3. CO2 Storage by Sorption on Organic Matter and Clay in Gas Shale

    SciTech Connect

    Bacon, Diana H.; Yonkofski, Catherine MR; Schaef, Herbert T.; White, Mark D.; McGrail, B. Peter

    2015-10-10

    Simulations of methane production and supercritical carbon dioxide injection were developed that consider competitive adsorption of CH4 and CO2 on both organic matter and montmorillonite. The results were used to assess the potential for storage of CO2 in a hydraulically fractured shale gas reservoir and for enhanced recovery of CH4. Assuming equal volume fractions of organic matter and montmorillonite, amounts of CO2 adsorbed on both materials were comparable, while methane desorption was from clays was two times greater than desorption from organic material. The most successful strategy considered CO2 injection from a separate well and enhanced methane recovery by 73%, while storing 240 kmt of CO2.

  4. Risks to biodiversity from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

    PubMed

    Kiviat, Erik

    2013-05-01

    High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHHF) for mining natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales is widespread in Pennsylvania and potentially throughout approximately 280,000 km(2) of the Appalachian Basin. Physical and chemical impacts of HVHHF include pollution by toxic synthetic chemicals, salt, and radionuclides, landscape fragmentation by wellpads, pipelines, and roads, alteration of stream and wetland hydrology, and increased truck traffic. Despite concerns about human health, there has been little study of the impacts on habitats and biota. Taxa and guilds potentially sensitive to HVHHF impacts include freshwater organisms (e.g., brook trout, freshwater mussels), fragmentation-sensitive biota (e.g., forest-interior breeding birds, forest orchids), and species with restricted geographic ranges (e.g., Wehrle's salamander, tongue-tied minnow). Impacts are potentially serious due to the rapid development of HVHHF over a large region.

  5. Water intensity assessment of shale gas resources in the Wattenberg field in northeastern Colorado.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Stephen; Carlson, Ken; Knox, Ken; Douglas, Caleb; Rein, Luke

    2014-05-20

    Efficient use of water, particularly in the western U.S., is an increasingly important aspect of many activities including agriculture, urban, and industry. As the population increases and agriculture and energy needs continue to rise, the pressure on water and other natural resources is expected to intensify. Recent advances in technology have stimulated growth in oil and gas development, as well as increasing the industry's need for water resources. This study provides an analysis of how efficiently water resources are used for unconventional shale development in Northeastern Colorado. The study is focused on the Wattenberg Field in the Denver-Julesberg Basin. The 2000 square mile field located in a semiarid climate with competing agriculture, municipal, and industrial water demands was one of the first fields where widespread use of hydraulic fracturing was implemented. The consumptive water intensity is measured using a ratio of the net water consumption and the net energy recovery and is used to measure how efficiently water is used for energy extraction. The water and energy use as well as energy recovery data were collected from 200 Noble Energy Inc. wells to estimate the consumptive water intensity. The consumptive water intensity of unconventional shale in the Wattenberg is compared with the consumptive water intensity for extraction of other fuels for other energy sources including coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear, and renewables. 1.4 to 7.5 million gallons is required to drill and hydraulically fracture horizontal wells before energy is extracted in the Wattenberg Field. However, when the large short-term total freshwater-water use is normalized to the amount of energy produced over the lifespan of a well, the consumptive water intensity is estimated to be between 1.8 and 2.7 gal/MMBtu and is similar to surface coal mining.

  6. Environmental consequences of shale gas exploitation and the crucial role of rock microfracturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renard, Francois

    2015-04-01

    The growing exploitation of unconventional gas and oil resources has dramatically changed the international market of hydrocarbons in the past ten years. However, several environmental concerns have also been identified such as the increased microseismicity, the leakage of gas into freshwater aquifers, and the enhanced water-rock interactions inducing the release of heavy metals and other toxic elements in the produced water. In all these processes, fluids are transported into a network of fracture, ranging from nanoscale microcracks at the interface between minerals and the kerogen of the source rock, to well-developed fractures at the meter scale. Characterizing the fracture network and the mechanisms of its formation remains a crucial goal. A major difficulty when analyzing fractures from core samples drilled at depth is that some of them are produced by the coring process, while some other are produced naturally at depth by the coupling between geochemical and mechanical forces. Here, I present new results of high resolution synchrotron 3D X-ray microtomography imaging of shale samples, at different resolutions, to characterize their microfractures and their mechanisms of formation. The heterogeneities of rock microstructure are also imaged, as they create local stress concentrations where cracks may nucleate or along which they propagate. The main results are that microcracks form preferentially along kerogen-mineral interfaces and propagate along initial heterogeneities according to the local stress direction, connecting to increase the total volume of fractured rock. Their lifetime is also an important parameter because they may seal by fluid circulation, fluid-rock interactions, and precipitation of a cement. Understanding the multi-scale processes of fracture network development in shales and the coupling with fluid circulation represents a key challenge for future research directions.

  7. Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales.

    PubMed

    Darrah, Thomas H; Vengosh, Avner; Jackson, Robert B; Warner, Nathaniel R; Poreda, Robert J

    2014-09-30

    Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have enhanced energy production but raised concerns about drinking-water contamination and other environmental impacts. Identifying the sources and mechanisms of contamination can help improve the environmental and economic sustainability of shale-gas extraction. We analyzed 113 and 20 samples from drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales, respectively, examining hydrocarbon abundance and isotopic compositions (e.g., C2H6/CH4, δ(13)C-CH4) and providing, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive analyses of noble gases and their isotopes (e.g., (4)He, (20)Ne, (36)Ar) in groundwater near shale-gas wells. We addressed two questions. (i) Are elevated levels of hydrocarbon gases in drinking-water aquifers near gas wells natural or anthropogenic? (ii) If fugitive gas contamination exists, what mechanisms cause it? Against a backdrop of naturally occurring salt- and gas-rich groundwater, we identified eight discrete clusters of fugitive gas contamination, seven in Pennsylvania and one in Texas that showed increased contamination through time. Where fugitive gas contamination occurred, the relative proportions of thermogenic hydrocarbon gas (e.g., CH4, (4)He) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) and the proportions of atmospheric gases (air-saturated water; e.g., N2, (36)Ar) were significantly lower (P < 0.01) relative to background groundwater. Noble gas isotope and hydrocarbon data link four contamination clusters to gas leakage from intermediate-depth strata through failures of annulus cement, three to target production gases that seem to implicate faulty production casings, and one to an underground gas well failure. Noble gas data appear to rule out gas contamination by upward migration from depth through overlying geological strata triggered by horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing.

  8. Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales

    PubMed Central

    Darrah, Thomas H.; Vengosh, Avner; Jackson, Robert B.; Warner, Nathaniel R.; Poreda, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have enhanced energy production but raised concerns about drinking-water contamination and other environmental impacts. Identifying the sources and mechanisms of contamination can help improve the environmental and economic sustainability of shale-gas extraction. We analyzed 113 and 20 samples from drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales, respectively, examining hydrocarbon abundance and isotopic compositions (e.g., C2H6/CH4, δ13C-CH4) and providing, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive analyses of noble gases and their isotopes (e.g., 4He, 20Ne, 36Ar) in groundwater near shale-gas wells. We addressed two questions. (i) Are elevated levels of hydrocarbon gases in drinking-water aquifers near gas wells natural or anthropogenic? (ii) If fugitive gas contamination exists, what mechanisms cause it? Against a backdrop of naturally occurring salt- and gas-rich groundwater, we identified eight discrete clusters of fugitive gas contamination, seven in Pennsylvania and one in Texas that showed increased contamination through time. Where fugitive gas contamination occurred, the relative proportions of thermogenic hydrocarbon gas (e.g., CH4, 4He) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) and the proportions of atmospheric gases (air-saturated water; e.g., N2, 36Ar) were significantly lower (P < 0.01) relative to background groundwater. Noble gas isotope and hydrocarbon data link four contamination clusters to gas leakage from intermediate-depth strata through failures of annulus cement, three to target production gases that seem to implicate faulty production casings, and one to an underground gas well failure. Noble gas data appear to rule out gas contamination by upward migration from depth through overlying geological strata triggered by horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing. PMID:25225410

  9. Modelling the Deployment of CO2 Storage in U.S. Gas-bearing Shales

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, Casie L.; Dahowski, Robert T.; Dooley, James J.; McGrail, B. Peter

    2014-01-01

    The proliferation of commercial development in U.S. gas-bearing shales helped to drive a twelve-fold increase in domestic gas production between 2000 and 2010, and the nation’s gas production rates continue to grow. While shales have long been regarded as a desirable caprock for CCS operations because of their low permeability and porosity, there is increasing interest in the feasibility of injecting CO2 into shales to enhance methane recovery and augment CO2 storage. Laboratory work published in recent years observes that shales with adsorbed methane appear to exhibit a stronger affinity for CO2 adsorption, offering the potential to drive additional CH4 recovery beyond primary production and perhaps the potential to store a larger volume of CO2 than the volume of methane displaced. Recent research by the authors on the revenues associated with CO2-enhanced gas recovery (CO2-EGR) in gas-bearing shales estimates that, based on a range of EGR response rates, the average revenue per ton of CO2 for projects managed over both EGR and subsequent storage-only phases could range from $0.50 to $18/tCO2. While perhaps not as profitable as EOR, for regions where lower-cost storage options may be limited, shales could represent another “early opportunity” storage option if proven feasible for reliable EGR and CO2 storage. Significant storage potential exists in gas shales, with theoretical CO2 storage resources estimated at approximately 30-50 GtCO2. However, an analysis of the comprehensive cost competitiveness of these various options is necessary to understand the degree to which they might meaningfully impact U.S. CCS deployment or costs. This preliminary analysis shows that the degree to which EGR-based CO2 storage could play a role in commercial-scale deployment is heavily dependent upon the offsetting revenues associated with incremental

  10. Baseline evaluation of groundwater quality in central New York prior to shale gas development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhillips, L. E.; Creamer, A.; Walter, T.; Rahm, B.

    2012-12-01

    Though New York State has had some conventional natural gas drilling for over a century, new drilling technologies are being considered to access potentially vast natural gas resources in the Marcellus shale formation. In order to economically harvest the gas trapped within this formation, high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") technology is being combined with horizontal drilling techniques. Currently this practice is prevented by a moratorium in New York as potential environmental impacts of the process are being considered. One of the biggest concerns is the potential for groundwater contamination by either chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process or by methane gas. In the event that this technology is allowed in New York, it is critical that we have baseline water quality data to adequately assess the source of groundwater contamination. We collected such baseline data across Chenango County in central New York. Specifically, we collected groundwater samples from 120 homes across the county and analyzed them for dissolved solids and dissolved gases. We are using geostatistical methods on all sampled constituents to determine the natural baseline patterns observed across the county. We are also regressing analytes with a variety of ancillary characteristics including distance from existing conventional gas wells, topography, etc. Establishing a baseline for the metals and salts in these water samples will allow future assessment of contamination from fracking fluid. Results from dissolved gases provides information on how much methane is currently dissolved in the water as well as its source, which is determined by assessing the δ13C-CH4 composition of the methane. Gathering information such as this is essential to understanding the current state of our groundwater resources and thus being able to better assess any future impacts on these resources from issues such as gas drilling.

  11. Current perspectives on unconventional shale gas extraction in the Appalachian Basin.

    PubMed

    Lampe, David J; Stolz, John F

    2015-01-01

    The Appalachian Basin is home to three major shales, the Upper Devonian, Marcellus, and Utica. Together, they contain significant quantities of tight oil, gas, and mixed hydrocarbons. The Marcellus alone is estimated to contain upwards of 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The extraction of these deposits is facilitated by a combination of horizontal drilling and slick water stimulation (e.g., hydraulic fracturing) or "fracking." The process of fracking requires large volumes of water, proppant, and chemicals as well as a large well pad (3-7 acres) and an extensive network of gathering and transmission pipelines. Drilling can generate about 1,000 tons of drill cuttings depending on the depth of the formation and the length of the horizontal bore. The flowback and produced waters that return to the surface during production are high in total dissolved solids (TDS, 60,000-350,000 mg L(-1)) and contain halides (e.g., chloride, bromide, fluoride), strontium, barium, and often naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) as well as organics. The condensate tanks used to store these fluids can off gas a plethora of volatile organic compounds. The waste water, with its high TDS may be recycled, treated, or disposed of through deep well injection. Where allowed, open impoundments used for recycling are a source of air borne contamination as they are often aerated. The gas may be "dry" (mostly methane) or "wet," the latter containing a mixture of light hydrocarbons and liquids that need to be separated from the methane. Although the wells can produce significant quantities of natural gas, from 2-7 bcf, their initial decline rates are significant (50-75%) and may cease to be economic within a few years. This review presents an overview of unconventional gas extraction highlighting the environmental impacts and challenges.

  12. Process for oil shale retorting

    DOEpatents

    Jones, John B.; Kunchal, S. Kumar

    1981-10-27

    Particulate oil shale is subjected to a pyrolysis with a hot, non-oxygenous gas in a pyrolysis vessel, with the products of the pyrolysis of the shale contained kerogen being withdrawn as an entrained mist of shale oil droplets in a gas for a separation of the liquid from the gas. Hot retorted shale withdrawn from the pyrolysis vessel is treated in a separate container with an oxygenous gas so as to provide combustion of residual carbon retained on the shale, producing a high temperature gas for the production of some steam and for heating the non-oxygenous gas used in the oil shale retorting process in the first vessel. The net energy recovery includes essentially complete recovery of the organic hydrocarbon material in the oil shale as a liquid shale oil, a high BTU gas, and high temperature steam.

  13. Oil shale commercialization study

    SciTech Connect

    Warner, M.M.

    1981-09-01

    Ninety four possible oil shale sections in southern Idaho were located and chemically analyzed. Sixty-two of these shales show good promise of possible oil and probable gas potential. Sixty of the potential oil and gas shales represent the Succor Creek Formation of Miocene age in southwestern Idaho. Two of the shales represent Cretaceous formations in eastern Idaho, which should be further investigated to determine their realistic value and areal extent. Samples of the older Mesozonic and paleozoic sections show promise but have not been chemically analyzed and will need greater attention to determine their potential. Geothermal resources are of high potential in Idaho and are important to oil shale prospects. Geothermal conditions raise the geothermal gradient and act as maturing agents to oil shale. They also might be used in the retorting and refining processes. Oil shales at the surface, which appear to have good oil or gas potential should have much higher potential at depth where the geothermal gradient is high. Samples from deep petroleum exploration wells indicate that the succor Creek shales have undergone considerable maturation with depth of burial and should produce gas and possibly oil. Most of Idaho's shales that have been analyzed have a greater potential for gas than for oil but some oil potential is indicated. The Miocene shales of the Succor Creek Formation should be considered as gas and possibly oil source material for the future when technology has been perfectes. 11 refs.

  14. Indications of Transformation Products from Hydraulic Fracturing Additives in Shale Gas Wastewater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsner, Martin; Hoelzer, Kathrin; Sumner, Andrew J.; Karatum, Osman; Nelson, Robert K.; Drollette, Brian D.; O'Connor, Megan P.; D'Ambro, Emma; Getzinger, Gordon J.; Ferguson, P. Lee; Reddy, Christopher M.; Plata, Desiree L.

    2016-04-01

    Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) generates large volumes of wastewater, whose detailed composition must be known for adequate risk assessment and treatment. In particular, there is a need to elucidate the structures of organic chemical additives, extracted geogenic compounds, and transformation products. This study investigated six Fayetteville Shale UNGD wastewater samples for their organic composition using purge-and-trap gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (P&T-GC-MS) in combination with liquid-liquid extraction with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOF-MS). Following application of strict compound identification confidence criteria, we classified compounds according to their putative origin. Samples displayed distinct chemical distributions composed of typical geogenic substances (hydrocarbons), disclosed UNGD additives (e.g., hydrocarbons, phthalates, such as diisobutyl phthalate, and radical initiators, such as azobisisobutyronitrile), and undisclosed compounds (e.g., halogenated hydrocarbons, such as 2-bromohexane or 4-bromoheptane). Undisclosed chloromethyl alkanoates (chloromethyl propanoate, pentanoate, and octanoate) were identified as putative delayed acids (those that release acidic moieties only after hydrolytic cleavage, whose rate could potentially be controlled), suggesting they were deliberately introduced to react in the subsurface. Identification of halogenated methanes and acetones, in contrast, suggested they were formed as unintended by-products. Our study highlights the possibility that UNGD operations generate transformation products, knowledge of which is crucial for risk assessment and treatment strategies, and underscores the value of disclosing potential precursors that are injected into the subsurface.

  15. Geochemical and strontium isotope characterization of produced waters from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Elizabeth C; Capo, Rosemary C; Stewart, Brian W; Kirby, Carl S; Hammack, Richard W; Schroeder, Karl T; Edenborn, Harry M

    2012-03-20

    Extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing of the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale, a major gas-bearing unit in the Appalachian Basin, results in significant quantities of produced water containing high total dissolved solids (TDS). We carried out a strontium (Sr) isotope investigation to determine the utility of Sr isotopes in identifying and quantifying the interaction of Marcellus Formation produced waters with other waters in the Appalachian Basin in the event of an accidental release, and to provide information about the source of the dissolved solids. Strontium isotopic ratios of Marcellus produced waters collected over a geographic range of ~375 km from southwestern to northeastern Pennsylvania define a relatively narrow set of values (ε(Sr)(SW) = +13.8 to +41.6, where ε(Sr) (SW) is the deviation of the (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratio from that of seawater in parts per 10(4)); this isotopic range falls above that of Middle Devonian seawater, and is distinct from most western Pennsylvania acid mine drainage and Upper Devonian Venango Group oil and gas brines. The uniformity of the isotope ratios suggests a basin-wide source of dissolved solids with a component that is more radiogenic than seawater. Mixing models indicate that Sr isotope ratios can be used to sensitively differentiate between Marcellus Formation produced water and other potential sources of TDS into ground or surface waters.

  16. Geochemical and Strontium Isotope Characterization of Produced Waters from Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction

    SciTech Connect

    Elizabeth C. Chapman,† Rosemary C. Capo,† Brian W. Stewart,*,† Carl S. Kirby,‡ Richard W. Hammack,§ Karl T. Schroeder,§ and Harry M. Edenborn

    2012-02-24

    Extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing of the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale, a major gas-bearing unit in the Appalachian Basin, results in significant quantities of produced water containing high total dissolved solids (TDS). We carried out a strontium (Sr) isotope investigation to determine the utility of Sr isotopes in identifying and quantifying the interaction of Marcellus Formation produced waters with other waters in the Appalachian Basin in the event of an accidental release, and to provide information about the source of the dissolved solids. Strontium isotopic ratios of Marcellus produced waters collected over a geographic range of ∼375 km from southwestern to northeastern Pennsylvania define a relatively narrow set of values (εSr SW = +13.8 to +41.6, where εSr SW is the deviation of the 87Sr/86Sr ratio from that of seawater in parts per 104); this isotopic range falls above that of Middle Devonian seawater, and is distinct from most western Pennsylvania acid mine drainage and Upper Devonian Venango Group oil and gas brines. The uniformity of the isotope ratios suggests a basin-wide source of dissolved solids with a component that is more radiogenic than seawater. Mixing models indicate that Sr isotope ratios can be used to sensitively differentiate between Marcellus Formation produced water and other potential sources of TDS into ground or surface waters.

  17. Geochemical and Strontium Isotope Characterization of Produced Waters from Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, Elizabeth C; Capo, Rosemary C.; Stewart, Brian W.; Kirby, Carl S.; Hammack, Richard W.; Schroeder, Karl T.; Edenborn, Harry M.

    2012-03-20

    Extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing of the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale, a major gas-bearing unit in the Appalachian Basin, results in significant quantities of produced water containing high total dissolved solids (TDS). We carried out a strontium (Sr) isotope investigation to determine the utility of Sr isotopes in identifying and quantifying the interaction of Marcellus Formation produced waters with other waters in the Appalachian Basin in the event of an accidental release, and to provide information about the source of the dissolved solids. Strontium isotopic ratios of Marcellus produced waters collected over a geographic range of 375 km from southwestern to northeastern Pennsylvania define a relatively narrow set of values (ε{sub Sr}{sup SW} = +13.8 to +41.6, where ε{sub Sr}{sup SW} is the deviation of the {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratio from that of seawater in parts per 10{sup 4}); this isotopic range falls above that of Middle Devonian seawater, and is distinct from most western Pennsylvania acid mine drainage and Upper Devonian Venango Group oil and gas brines. The uniformity of the isotope ratios suggests a basin-wide source of dissolved solids with a component that is more radiogenic than seawater. Mixing models indicate that Sr isotope ratios can be used to sensitively differentiate between Marcellus Formation produced water and other potential sources of TDS into ground or surface waters.

  18. Impact of emissions from natural gas production facilities on ambient air quality in the Barnett Shale area: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Zielinska, Barbara; Campbell, Dave; Samburova, Vera

    2014-12-01

    Rapid and extensive development of shale gas resources in the Barnett Shale region of Texas in recent years has created concerns about potential environmental impacts on water and air quality. The purpose of this study was to provide a better understanding of the potential contributions of emissions from gas production operations to population exposure to air toxics in the Barnett Shale region. This goal was approached using a combination of chemical characterization of the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from active wells, saturation monitoring for gaseous and particulate pollutants in a residential community located near active gas/oil extraction and processing facilities, source apportionment of VOCs measured in the community using the Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) receptor model, and direct measurements of the pollutant gradient downwind of a gas well with high VOC emissions. Overall, the study results indicate that air quality impacts due to individual gas wells and compressor stations are not likely to be discernible beyond a distance of approximately 100 m in the downwind direction. However, source apportionment results indicate a significant contribution to regional VOCs from gas production sources, particularly for lower-molecular-weight alkanes (< C6). Although measured ambient VOC concentrations were well below health-based safe exposure levels, the existence of urban-level mean concentrations of benzene and other mobile source air toxics combined with soot to total carbon ratios that were high for an area with little residential or commercial development may be indicative of the impact of increased heavy-duty vehicle traffic related to gas production. Implications: Rapid and extensive development of shale gas resources in recent years has created concerns about potential environmental impacts on water and air quality. This study focused on directly measuring the ambient air pollutant levels occurring at residential properties located near

  19. Air Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development: A Barnett Shale Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, C. W.; Zielinska, B.; Campbell, D.; Fujita, E.

    2013-12-01

    Many atmospheric pollutants have been linked to the lifecycle of unconventional natural gas. Attributing air emissions to particular segments of the natural gas life cycle can be difficult. Further, describing individual and community exposure to air pollutants is complex since contaminants can vary spatially and temporally, based on proximity to point sources, magnitude, transport and dispersion of emissions. Here we will present data from the Barnett Shale formation near Dallas/Fort Worth, TX with the goal of providing a better understanding of the extent to which population exposure to air toxics is associated with emissions from natural gas production operations in this region. The Barnett Shale formation covers nearly 13000 km2 and is located west of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. This formation contains natural gas, natural gas condensate, and light oil. Samples were collected in April-May 2010 in two phases with the purpose of Phase 1 being to characterize emissions from major gas production facilities in the area, while Phase 2 involved more intensive monitoring of two residential areas identified in Phase 1. One of the residential areas was downwind of a gas well and two condensate tanks and the other area was close to a compressor station. Phase 1 sampling involved our mobile monitoring system, which includes real-time estimates of volatile organic compounds (VOC), using a portable photoionization detector monitor; continuous NO, PM2.5 mass, and a GasFindIR camera. Phase 1 also included 1-hr integrated canister VOC samples and carbonyl compound samples, using DNPH impregnated Sep-Pac Si cartridges. These samples were analyzed by GC/MS and high performance liquid chromatography with a photodiode array detector. Phase 2 sampling included 7-day integrated passive samples for NOx, NO2 and SO2 using Ogawa passive samplers, and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes), 1,3-butadiene, and carbonyl compounds (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein) using

  20. Modeling of fault reactivation and induced seismicity during hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Rutqvist, Jonny; Rinaldi, Antonio P.; Cappa, Frédéric; Moridis, George J.

    2013-07-01

    We have conducted numerical simulation studies to assess the potential for injection-induced fault reactivation and notable seismic events associated with shale-gas hydraulic fracturing operations. The modeling is generally tuned towards conditions usually encountered in the Marcellus shale play in the Northeastern US at an approximate depth of 1500 m (~;;4,500 feet). Our modeling simulations indicate that when faults are present, micro-seismic events are possible, the magnitude of which is somewhat larger than the one associated with micro-seismic events originating from regular hydraulic fracturing because of the larger surface area that is available for rupture. The results of our simulations indicated fault rupture lengths of about 10 to 20 m, which, in rare cases can extend to over 100 m, depending on the fault permeability, the in situ stress field, and the fault strength properties. In addition to a single event rupture length of 10 to 20 m, repeated events and aseismic slip amounted to a total rupture length of 50 m, along with a shear offset displacement of less than 0.01 m. This indicates that the possibility of hydraulically induced fractures at great depth (thousands of meters) causing activation of faults and creation of a new flow path that can reach shallow groundwater resources (or even the surface) is remote. The expected low permeability of faults in producible shale is clearly a limiting factor for the possible rupture length and seismic magnitude. In fact, for a fault that is initially nearly-impermeable, the only possibility of larger fault slip event would be opening by hydraulic fracturing; this would allow pressure to penetrate the matrix along the fault and to reduce the frictional strength over a sufficiently large fault surface patch. However, our simulation results show that if the fault is initially impermeable, hydraulic fracturing along the fault results in numerous small micro-seismic events along with the propagation, effectively

  1. Confined Phase Envelope of Gas-Condensate Systems in Shale Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagy, Stanislaw; Siemek, Jakub

    2014-12-01

    Natural gas from shales (NGS) and from tight rocks are one of the most important fossil energy resource in this and next decade. Significant increase in gas consumption, in all world regions, will be marked in the energy sector. The exploration of unconventional natural gas & oil reservoirs has been discussed recently in many conferences. This paper describes the complex phenomena related to the impact of adsorption and capillary condensation of gas-condensate systems in nanopores. New two phase saturation model and new algorithm for search capillary condensation area is discussed. The algorithm is based on the Modified Tangent Plane Criterion for Capillary Condensation (MTPCCC) is presented. The examples of shift of phase envelopes are presented for selected composition of gas-condensate systems. Gaz ziemny z łupków (NGS) oraz z ze złóż niskoprzepuszczalnych (typu `tight') staje się jednym z najważniejszych zasobów paliw kopalnych, w tym i następnym dziesięcioleciu. Znaczący wzrost zużycia gazu we wszystkich regionach świata zaznacza się głównie w sektorze energetycznym. Rozpoznawanie niekonwencjonalnych złóż gazu ziemnego i ropy naftowej w ostatnim czasie jest omawiane w wielu konferencjach. Niniejszy artykuł opisuje złożone zjawiska związane z wpływem adsorpcji i kapilarnej kondensacji w nanoporach w złożach gazowo-kondensatowych. Pokazano nowy dwufazowy model równowagowy dwufazowy i nowy algorytm wyznaczania krzywej nasycenia w obszarze kondensacji kapilarnej. Algorytm bazuje na kryterium zmodyfikowanym płaszczyzny stycznej dla kapilarnej kondensacji (MTPCCC). Przykłady zmiany krzywych nasycenia są przedstawiane w wybranym składzie systemów gazowo- kondensatowych

  2. Assessing the fugitive emission of CH4 via migration along fault zones - Comparing potential shale gas basins to non-shale basins in the UK.

    PubMed

    Boothroyd, I M; Almond, S; Worrall, F; Davies, R J

    2017-02-15

    This study considered whether faults bounding hydrocarbon-bearing basins could be conduits for methane release to the atmosphere. Five basin bounding faults in the UK were considered: two which bounded potential shale gas basins; two faults that bounded coal basins; and one that bounded a basin with no known hydrocarbon deposits. In each basin, two mobile methane surveys were conducted, one along the surface expression of the basin bounding fault and one along a line of similar length but not intersecting the fault. All survey data was corrected for wind direction, the ambient CH4 concentration and the distance to the possible source. The survey design allowed for Analysis of Variance and this showed that there was a significant difference between the fault and control survey lines though a significant flux from the fault was not found in all basins and there was no apparent link to the presence, or absence, of hydrocarbons. As such, shale basins did not have a significantly different CH4 flux to non-shale hydrocarbon basins and non-hydrocarbon basins. These results could have implications for CH4 emissions from faults both in the UK and globally. Including all the corrected fault data, we estimate faults have an emissions factor of 11.5±6.3tCH4/km/yr, while the most conservative estimate of the flux from faults is 0.7±0.3tCH4/km/yr. The use of isotopes meant that at least one site of thermogenic flux from a fault could be identified. However, the total length of faults that penetrate through-basins and go from the surface to hydrocarbon reservoirs at depth in the UK is not known; as such, the emissions factor could not be multiplied by an activity level to estimate a total UK CH4 flux.

  3. Mobile measurement of methane and hydrogen sulfide at natural gas production site fence lines in the Texas Barnett Shale.

    PubMed

    Eapi, Gautam R; Sabnis, Madhu S; Sattler, Melanie L

    2014-08-01

    Production of natural gas from shale formations is bringing drilling and production operations to regions of the United States that have seen little or no similar activity in the past, which has generated considerable interest in potential environmental impacts. This study focused on the Barnett Shale Fort Worth Basin in Texas, which saw the number of gas-producing wells grow from 726 in 2001 to 15,870 in 2011. This study aimed to measure fence line concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide at natural gas production sites (wells, liquid storage tanks, and associated equipment) in the four core counties of the Barnett Shale (Denton, Johnson, Tarrant, and Wise). A mobile measurement survey was conducted in the vicinity of 4788 wells near 401 lease sites, representing 35% of gas production volume, 31% of wells, and 38% of condensate production volume in the four-county core area. Methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations were measured using a Picarro G2204 cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS). Since the research team did not have access to lease site interiors, measurements were made by driving on roads on the exterior of the lease sites. Over 150 hr of data were collected from March to July 2012. During two sets of drive-by measurements, it was found that 66 sites (16.5%) had methane concentrations > 3 parts per million (ppm) just beyond the fence line. Thirty-two lease sites (8.0%) had hydrogen sulfide concentrations > 4.7 parts per billion (ppb) (odor recognition threshold) just beyond the fence line. Measured concentrations generally did not correlate well with site characteristics (natural gas production volume, number of wells, or condensate production). t tests showed that for two counties, methane concentrations for dry sites were higher than those for wet sites. Follow-up study is recommended to provide more information at sites identified with high levels of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Implications: Information regarding air emissions from shale gas

  4. Visco-plastic properties of organic-rich shale gas reservoir rocks and its implication for stress variations within reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sone, H.; Zoback, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    We are studying the time-dependent deformational properties of shale gas reservoir rocks through laboratory creep experiments in a triaxial deformation apparatus under room temperature and room humidity conditions. Samples come from the Barnett shale (TX), Eagle Ford shale (TX), Haynesville shale (LA), and Fort St. John shale (Canada). The clay and carbonate content of these shales vary markedly, as well as the total organic content. To cover effective pressures both below and above in-situ conditions, confining pressures were between 10-60 MPa. In order to examine creep processes unrelated to pre-failure crack growth, differential stresses during creep were kept below 50% of the ultimate rock strength. Time dependent creep at constant differential stress increases with clay content (regardless of the carbonate content) and there is a pronounced increase in amount of creep at around 35-40% clay content. The amount of creep strain is relatively insensitive to both the confining pressure and differential pressure. More creep occurs in the bedding-perpendicular direction than the bedding-parallel direction, which correlates with the sample's elastic anisotropy. The constitutive law governing the time-dependent deformation of these rocks is visco-plastic, and creep strain is well-approximated by a power-law function of time within the time scales of the experiment (maximum of 2 weeks). Also an oven-dried sample exhibited much less creep, which suggests that the physical mechanism of the creep is likely a hydrolytically-assisted plastic deformation process. Interpretation of the results through visco-elastic theory shows that the power law exponents of these rocks, which reflects how rapid a rock creeps or relaxes stress, vary between 0.01-0.07. Based on these numbers, we can roughly calculate the visco-elastic accumulation of differential stresses within these reservoirs, by assuming a constant intraplate tectonic strain rate (10^-19 - 10^-17) and by considering the

  5. Characterizing Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Oil and Natural Gas Operations in Haynesville, Fayetteville, and Marcellus Shale Regions via Aircraft Observations During SENEX 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilman, J.; Lerner, B. M.; Dumas, M.; Hughes, D.; Jaksich, A.; Hatch, C. D.; Graus, M.; Peischl, J.; Pollack, I. B.; Ryerson, T. B.; Holloway, J.; Trainer, M.; Aikin, K.; Kaiser, J.; Keutsch, F. N.; Wolfe, G. M.; Hanisco, T. F.; Warneke, C.; De Gouw, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The 2013 SENEX (Southeast Nexus) field campaign took place in June and July 2013 with to ascertain how the interaction of natural and anthropogenic emissions influence climate change and air quality throughout the southeastern United States. Five of the research flights utilizing the NOAA WP-3D aircraft focused on areas of intensive oil and natural gas production from various shale plays. These areas included the Haynesville shale in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, the Fayetteville shale in northern Arkansas, and the Marcellus shale in western Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2013 report, (1) the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and Marcellus shale collectively account for approximately 75% of the dry shale gas produced in the U.S., and (2) shale gas is expected to provide the largest source of growth in the U.S. natural gas supply over the next few decades. Depending on the particular shale formation, raw natural gas can contain significant amounts of non-methane hydrocarbons in the form of natural gas liquids (e.g., ethane, propane, butanes) and natural gas condensate (e.g., pentanes, cycloalkanes, and aromatics). Trace gases including methane, aromatics, formaldehyde, other oxygenated VOCs, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides were measured by multiple instruments aboard the NOAA WP-3D research aircraft. Up to 72 whole air samples (WAS) were collected in flight and analyzed in the field post-flight for a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Whole air samples provide a detailed chemical snapshot that can be combined with higher time-resolved measurements in order to provide a more comprehensive chemical analysis. In this presentation, we will compare the emissions composition of the Haynesville, Fayetteville, and Marcellus shale plays to investigate the relative importance of primary VOC emissions on the formation of secondary pollutants such as ozone, oxygenated VOCs, and secondary

  6. Deep Subsurface Biodegradation of Sedimentary Organic Matter in a Methane-Rich Shale Gas Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formolo, M. J.; Petsch, S.; Salacup, J.; Waldron, P.; Martini, A.; Nusslein, K.

    2006-12-01

    Extensive, sustained subsurface microbial activity in the Antrim Shale (Late Devonian, Michigan Basin, USA) has led to the accumulation of an important unconventional natural gas resource, from which is produced ~14 million m3 of methane per day. Both geochemical and molecular evidence supports a community comprising diverse methanogens, fermentative microorganisms, and little else. The diversity of methanogens is strongly associated with a sharp gradient in formation water salinity spanning 10-4000 mM Cl-1. Analysis of hydrocarbon biomarkers within the Antrim reveal patterns of degradation that are directly associated with zones of active methanogenesis, with marked differences observed between methane- producing and non-producing sections of the formation. Maturity and source indicators show that these patterns do not result from varying degrees of thermal maturity or source inputs across the Basin, but instead demonstrate that biodegradation is confined solely to regions of the Basin exhibiting extensive methanogenesis. Calculated biodegradation indices provide evidence for nearly quantitative loss of saturated hydrocarbons, specifically n-alkanes and acyclic isoprenoids, during biodegradation associated with methanogenesis. These results are the first to document deep subsurface ancient sedimentary organic matter biodegradation associated with the formation of economic microbial gas reserves within low permeability, thermally-immature source rocks. As such, the results provide insight into microbial activity in the deep subsurface, specifically the role that methanogen-dominated communities may play in carbon-rich, electron acceptor-poor sedimentary basins.

  7. Synergies and Tradeoffs Among Environmental Impacts Under Conservation Planning of Shale Gas Surface Infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Milt, Austin W; Gagnolet, Tamara; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and related ground water issues are growing features in public discourse. Few have given much attention to surface impacts from shale gas development, which result from building necessary surface infrastructure. One way to reduce future impacts from gas surface development without radically changing industry practice is by formulating simple, conservation-oriented planning guidelines. We explore how four such guidelines affect the locations of well pads, access roads, and gathering pipelines on state lands in Pennsylvania. Our four guidelines aim to (1) reduce impacts on water, reduce impacts from (2) gathering pipelines and (3) access roads, and (4) reduce impacts on forests. We assessed whether the use of such guidelines accompanies tradeoffs among impacts, and if any guidelines perform better than others at avoiding impacts. We find that impacts are mostly synergistic, such that avoiding one impact will result in avoiding others. However, we found that avoiding forest fragmentation may result in increased impacts on other environmental features. We also found that single simple planning guidelines can be effective in targeted situations, but no one guideline was universally optimal in avoiding all impacts. As such, we suggest that when multiple environmental features are important in an area, more comprehensive planning strategies and tools should be used.

  8. Synergies and Tradeoffs Among Environmental Impacts Under Conservation Planning of Shale Gas Surface Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milt, Austin W.; Gagnolet, Tamara; Armsworth, Paul R.

    2016-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and related ground water issues are growing features in public discourse. Few have given much attention to surface impacts from shale gas development, which result from building necessary surface infrastructure. One way to reduce future impacts from gas surface development without radically changing industry practice is by formulating simple, conservation-oriented planning guidelines. We explore how four such guidelines affect the locations of well pads, access roads, and gathering pipelines on state lands in Pennsylvania. Our four guidelines aim to (1) reduce impacts on water, reduce impacts from (2) gathering pipelines and (3) access roads, and (4) reduce impacts on forests. We assessed whether the use of such guidelines accompanies tradeoffs among impacts, and if any guidelines perform better than others at avoiding impacts. We find that impacts are mostly synergistic, such that avoiding one impact will result in avoiding others. However, we found that avoiding forest fragmentation may result in increased impacts on other environmental features. We also found that single simple planning guidelines can be effective in targeted situations, but no one guideline was universally optimal in avoiding all impacts. As such, we suggest that when multiple environmental features are important in an area, more comprehensive planning strategies and tools should be used.

  9. Fouling of microfiltration membranes by flowback and produced waters from the Marcellus shale gas play.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Boya; Zydney, Andrew L; Kumar, Manish

    2016-08-01

    There is growing interest in possible options for treatment or reuse of flowback and produced waters from natural gas processing. Here we investigated the fouling characteristics during microfiltration of different flowback and produced waters from hydraulic fracturing sites in the Marcellus shale. All samples caused severe and highly variable fouling, although there was no direct correlation between the fouling rate and total suspended solids, turbidity, or total organic carbon. Furthermore, the fouling of water after prefiltration through a 0.2 μm membrane was also highly variable. Low fouling seen with prefiltered water was mainly due to removal of submicron particles 0.4-0.8 μm during prefiltration. High fouling seen with prefiltered water was mainly caused by a combination of hydrophobic organics and colloidal particles <100 nm in size (quantified by transmission electron microscopy) that passed through the prefiltration membranes. The small colloidal particles were highly stable, likely due to the surfactants and other organics present in the fracking fluids. The colloid concentration was as high as 10(11) colloids/ml, which is more than 100 times greater than that in typical seawater. Furthermore, these colloids were only partially removed by MF, causing substantial fouling during a subsequent ultrafiltration. These results clearly show the importance of organics and colloidal material in membrane fouling caused by flowback and produced waters, which is of critical importance in the development of more sustainable treatment strategies in natural gas processing.

  10. Indications of Transformation Products from Hydraulic Fracturing Additives in Shale-Gas Wastewater.

    PubMed

    Hoelzer, Kathrin; Sumner, Andrew J; Karatum, Osman; Nelson, Robert K; Drollette, Brian D; O'Connor, Megan P; D'Ambro, Emma L; Getzinger, Gordon J; Ferguson, P Lee; Reddy, Christopher M; Elsner, Martin; Plata, Desiree L

    2016-08-02

    Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) generates large volumes of wastewater, the detailed composition of which must be known for adequate risk assessment and treatment. In particular, transformation products of geogenic compounds and disclosed additives have not been described. This study investigated six Fayetteville Shale wastewater samples for organic composition using a suite of one- and two-dimensional gas chromatographic techniques to capture a broad distribution of chemical structures. Following the application of strict compound-identification-confidence criteria, we classified compounds according to their putative origin. Samples displayed distinct chemical distributions composed of typical geogenic substances (hydrocarbons and hopane biomarkers), disclosed UNGD additives (e.g., hydrocarbons, phthalates such as diisobutyl phthalate, and radical initiators such as azobis(isobutyronitrile)), and undisclosed compounds (e.g., halogenated hydrocarbons, such as 2-bromohexane or 4-bromoheptane). Undisclosed chloromethyl alkanoates (chloromethyl propanoate, pentanoate, and octanoate) were identified as potential delayed acids (i.e., those that release acidic moieties only after hydrolytic cleavage, the rate of which could be potentially controlled), suggesting they were deliberately introduced to react in the subsurface. In contrast, the identification of halogenated methanes and acetones suggested that those compounds were formed as unintended byproducts. Our study highlights the possibility that UNGD operations generate transformation products and underscores the value of disclosing additives injected into the subsurface.

  11. A Framework to Predict the Impacts of Shale Gas Infrastructures on the Forest Fragmentation of an Agroforest Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racicot, Alexandre; Babin-Roussel, Véronique; Dauphinais, Jean-François; Joly, Jean-Sébastien; Noël, Pascal; Lavoie, Claude

    2014-05-01

    We propose a framework to facilitate the evaluation of the impacts of shale gas infrastructures (well pads, roads, and pipelines) on land cover features, especially with regards to forest fragmentation. We used a geographic information system and realistic development scenarios largely inspired by the PA (United States) experience, but adapted to a region of QC (Canada) with an already fragmented forest cover and a high gas potential. The scenario with the greatest impact results from development limited by regulatory constraints only, with no access to private roads for connecting well pads to the public road network. The scenario with the lowest impact additionally integrates ecological constraints (deer yards, maple woodlots, and wetlands). Overall the differences between these two scenarios are relatively minor, with <1 % of the forest cover lost in each case. However, large areas of core forests would be lost in both scenarios and the number of forest patches would increase by 13-21 % due to fragmentation. The pipeline network would have a much greater footprint on the land cover than access roads. Using data acquired since the beginning of the shale gas industry, we show that it is possible, within a reasonable time frame, to produce a robust assessment of the impacts of shale gas extraction. The framework we propose could easily be applied to other contexts or jurisdictions.

  12. Numerical simulation of the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing of tight/shale gas reservoirs on near-surface ground water: background, base cases, shallow reservoirs, short-term gas and water transport

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Researchers examined gas and water transport between a deep tight shale gas reservoir and a shallow overlying aquifer in the two years following hydraulic fracturing, assuming a pre-existing connecting pathway.

  13. Modeling of fault activation and seismicity by injection directly into a fault zone associated with hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    LBNL, in consultation with the EPA, expanded upon a previous study by injecting directly into a 3D representation of a hypothetical fault zone located in the geologic units between the shale-gas reservoir and the drinking water aquifer.

  14. Water Resource Impacts During Unconventional Shale Gas Development: The Pennsylvania Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brantley, S. L.; Yoxtheimer, D.; Arjmand, S.; Grieve, P.; Vidic, R.; Abad, J. D.; Simon, C. A.; Pollak, J.

    2013-12-01

    The number of unconventional Marcellus shale wells in PA has increased from 8 in 2005 to more than 6000 today. This rapid development has been accompanied by environmental issues. We analyze publicly available data describing this Pennsylvania experience (data from www.shalenetwork.org and PA Department of Environmental Protection, i.e., PA DEP). After removing permitting and reporting violations, the average percent of wells/year with at least one notice of violation (NOV) from PA DEP is 35 %. Most violations are minor. An analysis of NOVs reported for wells drilled before 2013 revealed a rate of casing, cement, or well construction issues of 3.4%. Sixteen wells were given notices specifically related to migration of methane. A similarly low percent of wells were contaminated by brine components. Such contamination could derive from spills, subsurface migration of flowback water or shallow natural brines, or contamination by drill cuttings. Most cases of contamination of drinking water supplies with methane or brine components were reported in the previously glaciated part of the state. Before 2011, flowback and production water was often discharged legally into streams after minimal treatment, possibly increasing dissolved Br concentrations in some rivers. The rate of large spills or releases of gas-related industrial wastes in the state peaked in 2009 but little evidence of spills has been found in publicly available surface water chemistry data. The most likely indicators of spillage or subsurface release of flowback or production waters are the dissolved ions Na, Ca, and Cl. However, the data coverage for any given analyte is generally spatially and temporally sparse. Publicly available water quality data for before and after spills into Larrys Creek and Bobs Creek document the difficulties of detecting such events. An observation from the Pennsylvania experience is that the large number of people who have complained about their water supply (~1000 letters

  15. Comparative modeling of fault reactivation and seismicity in geologic carbon storage and shale-gas reservoir stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutqvist, Jonny; Rinaldi, Antonio; Cappa, Frederic

    2016-04-01

    The potential for fault reactivation and induced seismicity are issues of concern related to both geologic CO2 sequestration and stimulation of shale-gas reservoirs. It is well known that underground injection may cause induced seismicity depending on site-specific conditions, such a stress and rock properties and injection parameters. To date no sizeable seismic event that could be felt by the local population has been documented associated with CO2 sequestration activities. In the case of shale-gas fracturing, only a few cases of felt seismicity have been documented out of hundreds of thousands of hydraulic fracturing stimulation stages. In this paper we summarize and review numerical simulations of injection-induced fault reactivation and induced seismicity associated with both underground CO2 injection and hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs. The simulations were conducted with TOUGH-FLAC, a simulator for coupled multiphase flow and geomechanical modeling. In this case we employed both 2D and 3D models with an explicit representation of a fault. A strain softening Mohr-Coulomb model was used to model a slip-weakening fault slip behavior, enabling modeling of sudden slip that was interpreted as a seismic event, with a moment magnitude evaluated using formulas from seismology. In the case of CO2 sequestration, injection rates corresponding to expected industrial scale CO2 storage operations were used, raising the reservoir pressure until the fault was reactivated. For the assumed model settings, it took a few months of continuous injection to increase the reservoir pressure sufficiently to cause the fault to reactivate. In the case of shale-gas fracturing we considered that the injection fluid during one typical 3-hour fracturing stage was channelized into a fault along with the hydraulic fracturing process. Overall, the analysis shows that while the CO2 geologic sequestration in deep sedimentary formations are capable of producing notable events (e

  16. Water quality of groundwater and stream base flow in the Marcellus Shale Gas Field of the Monongahela River Basin, West Virginia, 2011-12

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, Douglas B.; Kozar, Mark D.; Messinger, Terence; Mulder, Michon L.; Pelak, Adam J.; White, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a baseline of water-quality conditions in the Monongahela River Basin in West Virginia during the early phases of development of the Marcellus Shale gas field. Although not all inclusive, the results of this study provide a set of reliable water-quality data against which future data sets can be compared and the effects of shale-gas development may be determined.

  17. SeTES, a Self-Teaching Expert System for the discovery and production of natural gas in shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzma, H. A.; Reagan, M. T.; Moridis, G. J.; Boyle, K. L.; Santos, R.

    2011-12-01

    SeTES is a Self-Teaching Expert System for the discovery and production of natural gas in shales. The alpha version of the SeTES system is scheduled for release in late August 2011. It is composed of three main components: a database, a set of semi-independent processing modules and a web-based, user-friendly interface. The goal of SeTES is not only to provide a tool for the improved recovery of shale gas but to make shale gas research results and techniques available and accessible to professionals and the public. The SeTES database contains a variety of different types of data related to shale gas including production and well completion records, geophysical well logs and horizons, petrophysical reports and location data. 13 processing modules are released with the alpha version. Production Analysis modules perform automatic decline curve analysis in order to estimate petrophysical parameters and ultimate recovery. Geologic/Geophysical modules are used to estimate flow parameters from geophysical well log data and project them along geophysical horizons. Optimization modules use probabilistic models to determine the optimal location for infill wells. Simulation modules run fortran-based 3d fluid flow simulation to predict production. Modules for Stimulation and Treatment suggest optimal fracturing fluids and fracture proppants. SeTES is self-teaching in that it computes probability distributions on all of its local parameters and uses them to improve its modeling and optimization algorithms. New modules are continually being added. Due to the large amount of computation required by the system, the SeTES alpha release supports only a limited number of users. SeTES beta is currently under construction and is expected to release in late 2012 or early 2013.

  18. Effect of organic-matter type and thermal maturity on methane adsorption in shale-gas systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Tongwei; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Ruppel, Stephen C.; Milliken, Kitty; Yang, Rongsheng

    2012-01-01

    A series of methane (CH4) adsorption experiments on bulk organic rich shales and their isolated kerogens were conducted at 35 °C, 50 °C and 65 °C and CH4 pressure of up to 15 MPa under dry conditions. Samples from the Eocene Green River Formation, Devonian–Mississippian Woodford Shale and Upper Cretaceous Cameo coal were studied to examine how differences in organic matter type affect natural gas adsorption. Vitrinite reflectance values of these samples ranged from 0.56–0.58 %Ro. In addition, thermal maturity effects were determined on three Mississippian Barnett Shale samples with measured vitrinite reflectance values of 0.58, 0.81 and 2.01 %Ro. For all bulk and isolated kerogen samples, the total amount of methane adsorbed was directly proportional to the total organic carbon (TOC) content of the sample and the average maximum amount of gas sorption was 1.36 mmol of methane per gram of TOC. These results indicate that sorption on organic matter plays a critical role in shale-gas storage. Under the experimental conditions, differences in thermal maturity showed no significant effect on the total amount of gas sorbed. Experimental sorption isotherms could be fitted with good accuracy by the Langmuir function by adjusting the Langmuir pressure (PL) and maximum sorption capacity (Γmax). The lowest maturity sample (%Ro = 0.56) displayed a Langmuir pressure (PL) of 5.15 MPa, significantly larger than the 2.33 MPa observed for the highest maturity (%Ro > 2.01) sample at 50 °C. The value of the Langmuir pressure (PL) changes with kerogen type in the following sequence: type I > type II > type III. The thermodynamic parameters of CH4 adsorption on organic rich shales were determined based on the experimental CH4 isotherms. For the adsorption of CH4 on organic rich shales and their isolated kerogen, the heat of adsorption (q) and the standard entropy (Δs0) range from 7.3–28.0 kJ/mol and from −36.2 to −92.2 J/mol/K, respectively.

  19. A multiyear assessment of air quality benefits from China's emerging shale gas revolution: Urumqi as a case study.

    PubMed

    Song, Wei; Chang, Yunhua; Liu, Xuejun; Li, Kaihui; Gong, Yanming; He, Guixiang; Wang, Xiaoli; Christie, Peter; Zheng, Mei; Dore, Anthony J; Tian, Changyan

    2015-02-17

    China is seeking to unlock its shale gas in order to curb its notorious urban air pollution, but robust assessment of the impact on PM2.5 pollution of replacing coal with natural gas for winter heating is lacking. Here, using a whole-city heating energy shift opportunity offered by substantial reductions in coal combustion during the heating periods in Urumqi, northwest China, we conducted a four-year study to reveal the impact of replacing coal with natural gas on the mass concentrations and chemical components of PM2.5. We found a significant decline in PM2.5, major soluble ions and metal elements in PM2.5 in January of 2013 and 2014 compared with the same periods in 2012 and 2011, reflecting the positive effects on air quality of using natural gas as a heating fuel throughout the city. This occurred following complete replacement with natural gas for heating energy in October 2012. The weather conditions during winter did not show any significant variation over the four years of the study. Our results indicate that China and other developing nations will benefit greatly from a change in energy source, that is, increasing the contribution of either natural gas or shale gas to total energy consumption with a concomitant reduction in coal consumption.

  20. DEVELOPMENT OF GLASS AND GLASS CERAMIC PROPPANTS FROM GAS SHALE WELL DRILL CUTTINGS

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, F.; Fox, K.

    2013-10-02

    The objective of this study was to develop a method of converting drill cuttings from gas shale wells into high strength proppants via flame spheroidization and devitrification processing. Conversion of drill cuttings to spherical particles was only possible for small particle sizes (< 53 {micro}m) using a flame former after a homogenizing melting step. This size limitation is likely to be impractical for application as conventional proppants due to particle packing characteristics. In an attempt to overcome the particle size limitation, sodium and calcium were added to the drill cuttings to act as fluxes during the spheroidization process. However, the flame former remained unable to form spheres from the fluxed material at the relatively large diameters (0.5 - 2 mm) targeted for proppants. For future work, the flame former could be modified to operate at higher temperature or longer residence time in order to produce larger, spherical materials. Post spheroidization heat treatments should be investigated to tailor the final phase assemblage for high strength and sufficient chemical durability.

  1. Geochemical Features of Shale Hydrocarbons of the Central Part of Volga-Ural Oil and Gas Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosova, Fidania F.; Pronin, Nikita V.; Plotnikova, Irina N.; Nosova, Julia G.

    2014-05-01

    This report contains the results of the studies of shale hydrocarbons from carbonate-siliceous rocks on the territory of South-Tatar arch of Volga-Ural oil and gas province of the East European Platform. The assessment of the prospects of shale hydrocarbon in Tatarstan primarily involves finding of low permeable, poor-porous shale strata that would be rich in organic matter. Basing on the analysis of the geological structure of the sedimentary cover, we can distinguish three main objects that can be considered as promising targets for the study from the point of the possible presence of shale hydrocarbons: sedimentary deposits Riphean- Vendian; Domanicoid high-carbon rocks of Devonian time; sedimentary strata in central and side areas of Kama-Kinel deflection system. The main object of this study is Domanicoid high-carbon rocks of Devonian time. They are mainly represented by dark gray, almost black bituminous limestones that are interbedded with calcareous siliceous shales and cherts. Complex studies include the following: extraction of bitumen from the rock, determination of organic carbon content, determination of the group and elemental composition of the bitumen, gas chromatographic studies of the alkanoic lube fractions of bitumoid and oil, gas chromato-mass spectrometry of the naphthenic lube fractions of bitumoid and oil, pyrolysis studies of the rock using the Rock -Eval method (before and after extraction), study of trace-element composition of the rocks and petrologen, comparison in terms of adsorbed gas and studying of the composition of adsorbed gases. Group and elemental analyses showed that hydrocarbons scattered in the samples contain mainly resinous- and asphaltene components, the share lube fraction is smaller. The terms sediment genesis changed from weakly to strongly reducing. According to the results of gas chromatography, no biodegradation processes were observed. According to biomarker indicators in the samples studied there is some certain

  2. Quantitative airborne assessment of gas flaring combustion efficiency in the Bakken Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gvakharia, A.; Kort, E. A.; Sweeney, C.; Peischl, J.; Ryerson, T. B.; Brandt, A. R.; Smith, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Bakken shale formation in North Dakota is a prolific source of oil and natural gas, producing 361 million barrels of oil in 2014. Drilling activities in the Bakken largely focus on oil, though co-production of natural gas is abundant. Up to 1/3 of the natural gas produced in this play is not captured, but is instead flared. The US EPA considers flare combustion efficiency to be 98%, indicating fugitive emissions of 2% of flared natural gas due to incomplete combustion. Studies of flaring combustion efficiency have been primarily laboratory-based, with minimal real-world analysis in the field. A recent study [Caulton et al., 2014] analyzed ten flares in the Bakken and found extremely high combustion efficiency of over 99.8%.Differences between this field study and the EPA standard have potentially significant implications for methane emissions from flaring, but given the small sample size, further in-field sampling is needed to quantify combustion efficiency in real conditions and assess why it may be different from laboratory studies.Here we will present a study on flaring combustion efficiency of methane and ethane in the Bakken field using continuous in-situ airborne observations of methane, ethane, and carbon dioxide. Over thirty flare plumes were observed during a three-week period in the Bakken formation in May 2014 in a range of wind conditions. For each flare we calculate the destruction efficiency and emission factors for methane and ethane. Preliminary results suggest combustion efficiency comparable with the EPA value of 98%, notably lower than the previous study. In addition, we calculate the corresponding mass flux of methane from incomplete flare combustion for the entire field using gas flare volume information and compare to the total emissions from the field calculated using our flight data and a mass-balance approach. Using the combustion efficiency from our study suggests methane emissions from incomplete combustion during flaring could be

  3. Coupling Hydraulic Fracturing Propagation and Gas Well Performance for Simulation of Production in Unconventional Shale Gas Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Winterfeld, P. H.; Wu, Y. S.; Wang, Y.; Chen, D.; Yin, C.; Pan, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling has made it possible to economically produce natural gas from unconventional shale gas reservoirs. An efficient methodology for evaluating hydraulic fracturing operation parameters, such as fluid and proppant properties, injection rates, and wellhead pressure, is essential for the evaluation and efficient design of these processes. Traditional numerical evaluation and optimization approaches are usually based on simulated fracture properties such as the fracture area. In our opinion, a methodology based on simulated production data is better, because production is the goal of hydraulic fracturing and we can calibrate this approach with production data that is already known. This numerical methodology requires a fully-coupled hydraulic fracture propagation and multi-phase flow model. In this paper, we present a general fully-coupled numerical framework to simulate hydraulic fracturing and post-fracture gas well performance. This three-dimensional, multi-phase simulator focuses on: (1) fracture width increase and fracture propagation that occurs as slurry is injected into the fracture, (2) erosion caused by fracture fluids and leakoff, (3) proppant subsidence and flowback, and (4) multi-phase fluid flow through various-scaled anisotropic natural and man-made fractures. Mathematical and numerical details on how to fully couple the fracture propagation and fluid flow parts are discussed. Hydraulic fracturing and production operation parameters, and properties of the reservoir, fluids, and proppants, are taken into account. The well may be horizontal, vertical, or deviated, as well as open-hole or cemented. The simulator is verified based on benchmarks from the literature and we show its application by simulating fracture network (hydraulic and natural fractures) propagation and production data history matching of a field in China. We also conduct a series of real-data modeling studies with different combinations of

  4. Well water contamination in a rural community in southwestern Pennsylvania near unconventional shale gas extraction.

    PubMed

    Alawattegama, Shyama K; Kondratyuk, Tetiana; Krynock, Renee; Bricker, Matthew; Rutter, Jennifer K; Bain, Daniel J; Stolz, John F

    2015-01-01

    Reports of ground water contamination in a southwestern Pennsylvania community coincided with unconventional shale gas extraction activities that started late 2009. Residents participated in a survey and well water samples were collected and analyzed. Available pre-drill and post-drill water test results and legacy operations (e.g., gas and oil wells, coal mining) were reviewed. Fifty-six of the 143 respondents indicated changes in water quality or quantity while 63 respondents reported no issues. Color change (brown, black, or orange) was the most common (27 households). Well type, when known, was rotary or cable tool, and depths ranged from 19 to 274 m. Chloride, sulfate, nitrate, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and strontium were commonly found, with 25 households exceeding the secondary maximum contaminate level (SMCL) for manganese. Methane was detected in 14 of the 18 houses tested. The 26 wells tested for total coliforms (2 positives) and E. coli (1 positive) indicated that septic contamination was not a factor. Repeated sampling of two wells in close proximity (204 m) but drawing from different depths (32 m and 54 m), revealed temporal variability. Since 2009, 65 horizontal wells were drilled within a 4 km (2.5 mile) radius of the community, each well was stimulated on average with 3.5 million gal of fluids and 3.2 million lbs of proppant. PA DEP cited violations included an improperly plugged well and at least one failed well casing. This study underscores the need for thorough analyses of data, documentation of legacy activity, pre-drill testing, and long term monitoring.

  5. Characterization of oil shale waters by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, D.C.; Baughman, K.J.; Jones, J.S.

    1986-09-01

    Characterization work has begun on organic compounds and compound classes to establish a baseline for the evaluation and development of alternative instrumental characterization techniques. For this purpose raw water from two oil shale processes has been subjected to an extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. Samples from the R-17 and Rio Blanco processes were chosen for comparison with previous characterization work reported by Poulson et al. (1984, 1985), who used low-cost gas and reverse-phase liquid chromatographic (LC) techniques. In addition, various inorganic and physical parameters were re-evaluated. The preliminary comparison of GC/MS data with the GC and reverse phase LC data previously reported by Poulson et al., indicates a number of positive correlations for both the process waters. Aliphatic carboxylic acids, cresols, xylenols, methyl pyridines, dimethyl pyridines, and trimethyl pyridines were found both in present GC/MS analysis and in earlier GC and LC analyses of the samples. In addition, trimethylphenols were observed in both the present GC/MS analysis and in the previous GC and LC analyses of the Rio Blanco sample. A number of tentatively identified compounds and compound classes were observed in the GC/MS analysis but were unreported in either the GC or LC analyses for both samples. Similarly, several compounds and compound classes previously reported by GC and LC techniques were absent in the GC/MS analysis. These discrepancies may be attributed to either the original GC and LC research design or to a fundamental chemical change in the samples used for the GC/MS characterization. Additional research is necessary in the areas of extraction design, use of comparable GC and GC/MS marker compounds for identification, standardization of chromatographic columns and GC conditions, and the validity of computer library identifications. 3 refs., 2 figs., 12 tabs.

  6. Determination of Shale Volume and Distribution Patterns and Effective Porosity from Well Log Data Based On Cross-Plot Approach for A Shaly Carbonate Gas Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, Siyamak; Moeini, Mohammad; Kamal Ghassem al-Askari, Mohammad; Hamed Mahvelati, Elaheh

    2016-10-01

    Determination of shale volume distribution is one of the most important factors that has to be considered in formation evaluation, since existence of shale reduces effective porosity and permeability of the reservoir. In this paper, shale volume and distribution (dispersed, laminar and structural) and formation effective porosity are estimated from well log data and cross-plots. Results show that distribution of shale is mainly dispersed with few of laminar ones, and the quality of reservoir (effective porosity) decreases with depth resulting in low productivity of gas wells drilled in lower zones. Good agreement of estimated shale volumes and effective porosities from neutron-density cross-plot with the values determined from gamma ray log (CGR) and core analysis demonstrates the accuracy and applicability of these plots in determination of petrophysical parameters from conventional log data.

  7. Analysis of the separation of aquifers and potential shale gas source rocks: a national-scale screening study from the UK.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, John; Ward, Rob; Garcia-Bajo, Marieta; Hart, Alwyn

    2014-05-01

    A number of potential pathways can be identified for the migration of methane and contaminants associated with the shale gas extraction process to aquifers. These include the possible movement of contaminants from shale gas reservoirs that have been hydraulically fractured to overlying aquifers. The risk of contamination of an overlying aquifer is a function of i.) the separation of the potential shale gas source rock and the aquifer, ii.) the hydraulic characteristics (e.g. hydraulic conductivity, storage and hydrogeochemistry) of the rocks in the intervening interval, and iii.) regional and local physio-chemical gradients. Here we report on a national-scale study from the UK to assess the former, i.e. the vertical separation between potential shale gas source rocks and major aquifers, as a contribution to more informed management of the risks associated with shale gas development if and when it takes place in the UK. Eleven aquifers are considered in the study. These are aquifers that have been designated by the environment agencies of England (Environment Agency) and Wales (Natural Resources Wales) under the EU Water Framework Directive as being nationally important (Principal Aquifers). The shale gas source rocks have been defined on best publically available evidence for potential gas productivity and include both shales and clay formations. Based on a national geological fence diagram consisting of ~80 geological sections, totalling ~12,000km in length, down to >5km in depth, and with a typical spacing of 30km, the lower surfaces of each aquifer unit and upper surfaces of each shale/clay unit have been estimated at a spatial resolution of 3x3km. These surfaces have then been used to estimate vertical separations between pairs of shale/clay and aquifer units. The modelling process will be described and the aquifer, shale and separation maps presented and discussed. The aquifers are defined by geological units and since these geological units may be found at

  8. A critical review of the risks to water resources from unconventional shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing in the United States.

    PubMed

    Vengosh, Avner; Jackson, Robert B; Warner, Nathaniel; Darrah, Thomas H; Kondash, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    The rapid rise of shale gas development through horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing has expanded the extraction of hydrocarbon resources in the U.S. The rise of shale gas development has triggered an intense public debate regarding the potential environmental and human health effects from hydraulic fracturing. This paper provides a critical review of the potential risks that shale gas operations pose to water resources, with an emphasis on case studies mostly from the U.S. Four potential risks for water resources are identified: (1) the contamination of shallow aquifers with fugitive hydrocarbon gases (i.e., stray gas contamination), which can also potentially lead to the salinization of shallow groundwater through leaking natural gas wells and subsurface flow; (2) the contamination of surface water and shallow groundwater from spills, leaks, and/or the disposal of inadequately treated shale gas wastewater; (3) the accumulation of toxic and radioactive elements in soil or stream sediments near disposal or spill sites; and (4) the overextraction of water resources for high-volume hydraulic fracturing that could induce water shortages or conflicts with other water users, particularly in water-scarce areas. Analysis of published data (through January 2014) reveals evidence for stray gas contamination, surface water impacts in areas of intensive shale gas development, and the accumulation of radium isotopes in some disposal and spill sites. The direct contamination of shallow groundwater from hydraulic fracturing fluids and deep formation waters by hydraulic fracturing itself, however, remains controversial.

  9. Effect of organic matter properties, clay mineral type and thermal maturity on gas adsorption in organic-rich shale systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Tongwei; Ellis, Geoffrey S.; Ruppel, Stephen C.; Milliken, Kitty; Lewan, Mike; Sun, Xun; Baez, Luis; Beeney, Ken; Sonnenberg, Steve

    2013-01-01

    A series of CH4 adsorption experiments on natural organic-rich shales, isolated kerogen, clay-rich rocks, and artificially matured Woodford Shale samples were conducted under dry conditions. Our results indicate that physisorption is a dominant process for CH4 sorption, both on organic-rich shales and clay minerals. The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area of the investigated samples is linearly correlated with the CH4 sorption capacity in both organic-rich shales and clay-rich rocks. The presence of organic matter is a primary control on gas adsorption in shale-gas systems, and the gas-sorption capacity is determined by total organic carbon (TOC) content, organic-matter type, and thermal maturity. A large number of nanopores, in the 2–50 nm size range, were created during organic-matter thermal decomposition, and they significantly contributed to the surface area. Consequently, methane-sorption capacity increases with increasing thermal maturity due to the presence of nanopores produced during organic-matter decomposition. Furthermore, CH4 sorption on clay minerals is mainly controlled by the type of clay mineral present. In terms of relative CH4 sorption capacity: montmorillonite ≫ illite – smectite mixed layer > kaolinite > chlorite > illite. The effect of rock properties (organic matter content, type, maturity, and clay minerals) on CH4 adsorption can be quantified with the heat of adsorption and the standard entropy, which are determined from adsorption isotherms at different temperatures. For clay-mineral rich rocks, the heat of adsorption (q) ranges from 9.4 to 16.6 kJ/mol. These values are considerably smaller than those for CH4 adsorption on kerogen (21.9–28 kJ/mol) and organic-rich shales (15.1–18.4 kJ/mol). The standard entropy (Δs°) ranges from -64.8 to -79.5 J/mol/K for clay minerals, -68.1 to -111.3 J/mol/K for kerogen, and -76.0 to -84.6 J/mol/K for organic-rich shales. The affinity of CH4 molecules for sorption on organic matter

  10. Fundamentals of gas flow in shale; What the unconventional reservoir industry can learn from the radioactive waste industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuss, Robert; Harrington, Jon; Graham, Caroline

    2013-04-01

    Tight formations, such as shale, have a wide range of potential usage; this includes shale gas exploitation, hydrocarbon sealing, carbon capture & storage and radioactive waste disposal. Considerable research effort has been conducted over the last 20 years on the fundamental controls on gas flow in a range of clay-rich materials at the British Geological Survey (BGS) mainly focused on radioactive waste disposal; including French Callovo-Oxfordian claystone, Belgian Boom Clay, Swiss Opalinus Clay, British Oxford Clay, as well as engineered barrier material such as bentonite and concrete. Recent work has concentrated on the underlying physics governing fluid flow, with evidence of dilatancy controlled advective flow demonstrated in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone. This has resulted in a review of how advective gas flow is dealt with in Performance Assessment and the applicability of numerical codes. Dilatancy flow has been shown in Boom clay using nano-particles and is seen in bentonite by the strong hydro-mechanical coupling displayed at the onset of gas flow. As well as observations made at BGS, dilatancy flow has been shown by other workers on shale (Cuss et al., 2012; Angeli et al. 2009). As well as experimental studies using cores of intact material, fractured material has been investigated in bespoke shear apparatus. Experimental results have shown that the transmission of gas by fractures is highly localised, dependent on normal stress, varies with shear, is strongly linked with stress history, is highly temporal in nature, and shows a clear correlation with fracture angle. Several orders of magnitude variation in fracture transmissivity is seen during individual tests. Flow experiments have been conducted using gas and water, showing remarkably different behaviour. The radioactive waste industry has also noted a number of important features related to sample preservation. Differences in gas entry pressure have been shown across many laboratories and these may be

  11. 49 CFR 372.201 - Albany, NY.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Albany, N.Y., within which transportation by motor vehicle, in interstate or foreign commerce, not under... combined areas defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, and (e) All of any municipality...

  12. Assessment of environmental health and safety issues associated with the commercialization of unconventional gas recovery: Devonian shale

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify and examine potential public health and safety issues and the potential environmental impacts from recovery of natural gas from Devonian age shale. This document will serve as background data and information for planners within the government to assist in development of our new energy technologies in a timely and environmentally sound manner. This report describes the resource and the DOE eastern gas shales project in Section 2. Section 3 describes the new and developing recovery technologies associated with Devonian shale. An assessment of the environment, health and safety impacts associated with a typical fields is presented in Section 4. The typical field for this assessment occupies ten square miles and is developed on a 40-acre spacing (that is, there is a well in each 40-acre grid). This field thus has a total of 160 wells. Finally, Section 5 presents the conclusions and recommendations. A reference list is provided to give a greater plant. Based on the estimated plant cost and the various cases of operating income, an economic analysis was performed employing a profitability index criterion of discounted cash flow to determine an interest rate of return on the plant investment.

  13. Experimental Determination of P-V-T-X Properties and Adsorption Kinetics in the CO2-CH4 System under Shale Gas Reservoir Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Y.; Wang, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Shale gas production via hydrofracturing has profoundly changed the energy portfolio in the USA and other parts of the world. Under the shale gas reservior conditions, CO2 and H2O, either in residence or being injected during hydrofracturing or both, co-exist with CH4. One important feature characteristic of shale is the presence of nanometer-scale (1-100 nm) pores in shale or mudstone. The interactions among CH4, CO2 and H2O in those nano-sized pores directly impact shale gas storage and gas release from the shale matrix. Therefore, a fundamental understanding of interactions among CH4, CO2 and H2O in nanopore confinement would provide guidance in addressing a number of problems such as rapid decline in production after a few years and low recovery rates. We are systematically investigating the P-V-T-X properties and adsorption kinetics in the CH4-CO2-H2O system under the reservior conditions. We have designed and constructed a unique high temperature and pressure experimental system that can measure both of the P-V-T-X properties and adsorption kinetics sequentially. We measure the P-V-T-X properties of CH4-CO2 mixtures with CH4 up to 95 vol. %, and adsorption kinetics of various materials, under the conditions relevant to shale gas reservoir. We use three types of materials: (I) model materials, (II) single solid phases separated from shale samples, and (III) crushed shale samples from both the known shale gas producing formations and the shale gas barren formations. The model materials are well characterized in terms of pore sizes. Therefore, the results associated with the model material serve as benchmarks for our model development. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. This research is supported by a Geoscience Foundation LDRD.

  14. Airborne flux measurements of methane and volatile organic compounds over the Haynesville and Marcellus shale gas production regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Bin; Kaser, Lisa; Karl, Thomas; Graus, Martin; Peischl, Jeff; Campos, Teresa L.; Shertz, Steve; Apel, Eric C.; Hornbrook, Rebecca S.; Hills, Alan; Gilman, Jessica B.; Lerner, Brian M.; Warneke, Carsten; Flocke, Frank M.; Ryerson, Thomas B.; Guenther, Alex B.; Gouw, Joost A.

    2015-06-01

    Emissions of methane (CH4) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas production may have large impacts on air quality and climate change. Methane and VOCs were measured over the Haynesville and Marcellus shale gas plays on board the National Center for Atmospheric Research C-130 and NOAA WP-3D research aircraft in June-July of 2013. We used an eddy covariance technique to measure in situ fluxes of CH4 and benzene from both C-130 flights with high-resolution data (10 Hz) and WP-3D flights with low-resolution data (1 Hz). Correlation (R = 0.65) between CH4 and benzene fluxes was observed when flying over shale gas operations, and the enhancement ratio of fluxes was consistent with the corresponding concentration observations. Fluxes calculated by the eddy covariance method show agreement with a mass balance approach within their combined uncertainties. In general, CH4 fluxes in the shale gas regions follow a lognormal distribution, with some deviations for relatively large fluxes (>10 µg m-2 s-1). Statistical analysis of the fluxes shows that a small number of facilities (i.e., ~10%) are responsible for up to ~40% of the total CH4 emissions in the two regions. We show that the airborne eddy covariance method can also be applied in some circumstances when meteorological conditions do not favor application of the mass balance method. We suggest that the airborne eddy covariance method is a reliable alternative and complementary analysis method to estimate emissions from oil and gas extraction.

  15. Optimal water resources management and system benefit for the Marcellus shale-gas reservoir in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Xi; He, Li; Lu, Hongwei; Chen, Yizhong; Ren, Lixia

    2016-09-01

    A major concern associated with current shale-gas extraction is high consumption of water resources. However, decision-making problems regarding water consumption and shale-gas extraction have not yet been solved through systematic approaches. This study develops a new bilevel optimization problem based on goals at two different levels: minimization of water demands at the lower level and maximization of system benefit at the upper level. The model is used to solve a real-world case across Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Results show that surface water would be the largest contributor to gas production (with over 80.00% from 2015 to 2030) and groundwater occupies for the least proportion (with less than 2.00% from 2015 to 2030) in both districts over the planning span. Comparative analysis between the proposed model and conventional single-level models indicates that the bilevel model could provide coordinated schemes to comprehensively attain the goals from both water resources authorities and energy sectors. Sensitivity analysis shows that the change of water use of per unit gas production (WU) has significant effects upon system benefit, gas production and pollutants (i.e., barium, chloride and bromide) discharge, but not significantly changes water demands.

  16. Estimating Emissions of Toxic Hydrocarbons from Natural Gas Production Sites in the Barnett Shale Region of Northern Texas.

    PubMed

    Marrero, Josette E; Townsend-Small, Amy; Lyon, David R; Tsai, Tracy R; Meinardi, Simone; Blake, Donald R

    2016-10-04

    Oil and natural gas operations have continued to expand and move closer to densely populated areas, contributing to growing public concerns regarding exposure to hazardous air pollutants. During the Barnett Shale Coordinated Campaign in October, 2013, ground-based whole air samples collected downwind of oil and gas sites revealed enhancements in several potentially toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when compared to background values. Molar emissions ratios relative to methane were determined for hexane, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX compounds). Using methane leak rates measured from the Picarro mobile flux plane (MFP) system and a Barnett Shale regional methane emissions inventory, the rates of emission of these toxic gases were calculated. Benzene emissions ranged between 51 ± 4 and 60 ± 4 kg h(-1). Hexane, the most abundantly emitted pollutant, ranged from 642 ± 45 to 1070 ± 340 kg h(-1). While observed hydrocarbon enhancements fall below federal workplace standards, results may indicate a link between emissions from oil and natural gas operations and concerns about exposure to hazardous air pollutants. The larger public health risks associated with the production and distribution of natural gas are of particular importance and warrant further investigation, particularly as the use of natural gas increases in the United States and internationally.

  17. Regional ozone impacts of increased natural gas use in the Texas power sector and development in the Eagle Ford shale.

    PubMed

    Pacsi, Adam P; Kimura, Yosuke; McGaughey, Gary; McDonald-Buller, Elena C; Allen, David T

    2015-03-17

    The combined emissions and air quality impacts of electricity generation in the Texas grid and natural gas production in the Eagle Ford shale were estimated at various natural gas price points for the power sector. The increased use of natural gas in the power sector, in place of coal-fired power generation, drove reductions in average daily maximum 8 h ozone concentration of 0.6-1.3 ppb in northeastern Texas for a high ozone episode used in air quality planning. The associated increase in Eagle Ford upstream oil and gas production nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions caused an estimated local increase, in south Texas, of 0.3-0.7 ppb in the same ozone metric. In addition, the potential ozone impacts of Eagle Ford emissions on nearby urban areas were estimated. On the basis of evidence from this work and a previous study on the Barnett shale, the combined ozone impact of increased natural gas development and use in the power sector is likely to vary regionally and must be analyzed on a case by case basis.

  18. Predicting variations of the least principal stress magnitudes in shale gas reservoirs utilizing variations of viscoplastic properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sone, H.; Zoback, M. D.

    2013-12-01

    Predicting variations of the magnitude of least principal stress within unconventional reservoirs has significant practical value as these reservoirs require stimulation by hydraulic fracturing. It is common to approach this problem by calculating the horizontal stresses caused by uniaxial gravitational loading using log-derived linear elastic properties of the formation and adding arbitrary tectonic strain (or stress). We propose a new method for estimating stress magnitudes in shale gas reservoirs based on the principles of viscous relaxation and steady-state tectonic loading. Laboratory experiments show that shale gas reservoir rocks exhibit wide range of viscoplastic behavior most dominantly controlled by its composition, whose stress relaxation behavior is described by a simple power-law (in time) rheology. We demonstrate that a reasonable profile of the principal stress magnitudes can be obtained from geophysical logs by utilizing (1) the laboratory power-law constitutive law, (2) a reasonable estimate of the tectonic loading history, and (3) the assumption that stress ratios ([S2-S3]/[S1-S3]) remains constant due to stress relaxation between all principal stresses. Profiles of horizontal stress differences (SHmax-Shmin) generated based on our method for a vertical well in the Barnett shale (Ft. Worth basin, Texas) generally agrees with the occurrence of drilling-induced tensile fractures in the same well. Also, the decrease in the least principal stress (frac gradient) upon entering the limestone formation underlying the Barnett shale appears to explain the downward propagation of the hydraulic fractures observed in the region. Our approach better acknowledges the time-dependent geomechanical effects that could occur over the course of the geological history. The proposed method may prove to be particularly useful for understanding hydraulic fracture containment within targeted reservoirs.

  19. Characterization of Connectivity between Fractures and Nano-pores in Shale Using Gas Adsorption Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, H.; Daigle, H.; Hayman, N. W.

    2015-12-01

    Most pores hosting hydrocarbon in mudrocks are at the nanometer to tens of nanometer scale. However, observational evidence shows that natural and induced fractures which govern the permeability of mudrocks appear to be spaced at centimeter scale or greater. The mismatch in scales raises the question of how the hydrocarbons in the nanopores can gain access to the induced hydraulic fracture systems. To answer the question, we experimentally induced fractures on core-scale samples, and characterized microstructure around the stimulated fracture networks and in the surrounding, unfractured rock matrix. Confined compressive strength tests were performed on preserved core plugs from the Eagle Ford shale and a siliceous, oil-bearing mudrock from the northern Rocky Mountains. Dried, ground specimens were collected from before-test (intact) and after-test (failed) samples. Their pore structure was analyzed by N2/CO2 gas adsorption, which together can measure pore diameters between 0.35 and 300 nm. Adsorption data shows a Type IV N2 isotherm and a Type I CO2 isotherm. The hysteresis loop in the N2 adsorption curve indicates the presence of slit-shaped pores. Failed siliceous samples exhibit higher overall N2 and CO2 adsorbed gas amount compared with the intact samples, indicating a wide range increase of nanoporosity. Eagle Ford samples, however, show no significant change in adsorbed gas amount. We determined pore size distributions (PSDs) using density functional theory (DFT). The N2 PSDs of the siliceous samples appear to be bimodal, with a peak around 1 nm pore size, while the N2 PSDs of the Eagle Ford samples is unimodal. Comparison of intact and failed samples reveals no significant change in pore volume for Eagle Ford samples. The siliceous samples, in contrast, increase their nanopore volume (1-100 nm pore diameter) after fracturing. The increased nanoporosity may result from microcracks that develop in the matrix surrounding the main fractures that connect nano

  20. Analysis of the structural parameters that influence gas production from the Devonian shale. Annual progress report, 1979-1980. Volume III. Data repository and reports published during fiscal year 1979-1980: production, unsponsored research

    SciTech Connect

    Negus-De Wys, J.; Dixon, J. M.; Evans, M. A.; Lee, K. D.; Ruotsala, J. E.; Wilson, T. H.; Williams, R. T.

    1980-10-01

    This document consists of the following papers: inorganic geochemistry studies of the Eastern Kentucky Gas Field; lithology studies of upper Devonian well cuttings in the Eastern Kentucky Gas Field; possible effects of plate tectonics on the Appalachian Devonian black shale production in eastern Kentucky; preliminary depositional model for upper Devonian Huron age organic black shale in the Eastern Kentucky Gas Field; the anatomy of a large Devonian black shale gas field; the Cottageville (Mount Alto) Gas Field, Jackson County, West Virginia: a case study of Devonian shale gas production; the Eastern Kentucky Gas Field: a geological study of the relationships of Ohio Shale gas occurrences to structure, stratigraphy, lithology, and inorganic geochemical parameters; and a statistical analysis of geochemical data for the Eastern Kentucky Gas Field.

  1. Growth model for large branched three-dimensional hydraulic crack system in gas or oil shale.

    PubMed

    Chau, Viet T; Bažant, Zdeněk P; Su, Yewang

    2016-10-13

    Recent analysis of gas outflow histories at wellheads shows that the hydraulic crack spacing must be of the order of 0.1 m (rather than 1 m or 10 m). Consequently, the existing models, limited to one or several cracks, are unrealistic. The reality is 10(5)-10(6) almost vertical hydraulic cracks per fracking stage. Here, we study the growth of two intersecting near-orthogonal systems of parallel hydraulic cracks spaced at 0.1 m, preferably following pre-existing rock joints. One key idea is that, to model lateral cracks branching from a primary crack wall, crack pressurization, by viscous Poiseuille-type flow, of compressible (proppant-laden) frac water must be complemented with the pressurization of a sufficient volume of micropores and microcracks by Darcy-type water diffusion into the shale, to generate tension along existing crack walls, overcoming the strength limit of the cohesive-crack or crack-band model. A second key idea is that enforcing the equilibrium of stresses in cracks, pores and water, with the generation of tension in the solid phase, requires a new three-phase medium concept, which is transitional between Biot's two-phase medium and Terzaghi's effective stress and introduces the loading of the solid by pressure gradients of diffusing pore water. A computer program, combining finite elements for deformation and fracture with volume elements for water flow, is developed to validate the new model.This article is part of the themed issue 'Energy and the subsurface'.

  2. Environmental flows in the context of unconventional natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale

    DOE PAGES

    Buchanan, Brian P.; Auerbach, Daniel A.; McManamay, Ryan A.; ...

    2017-01-04

    Quantitative flow-ecology relationships are needed to evaluate how water withdrawals for unconventional natural gas development may impact aquatic ecosystems. Addressing this need, we studied current patterns of hydrologic alteration in the Marcellus Shale region and related the estimated flow alteration to fish community measures. We then used these empirical flow-ecology relationships to evaluate alternative surface water withdrawals and environmental flow rules. Reduced high-flow magnitude, dampened rates of change, and increased low-flow magnitudes were apparent regionally, but changes in many of the flow metrics likely to be sensitive to withdrawals also showed substantial regional variation. Fish community measures were significantly relatedmore » to flow alteration, including declines in species richness with diminished annual runoff, winter low-flow, and summer median-flow. In addition, the relative abundance of intolerant taxa decreased with reduced winter high-flow and increased flow constancy, while fluvial specialist species decreased with reduced winter and annual flows. Stream size strongly mediated both the impact of withdrawal scenarios and the protection afforded by environmental flow standards. Under the most intense withdrawal scenario, 75% of reference headwaters and creeks (drainage areas <99 km2) experienced at least 78% reduction in summer flow, whereas little change was predicted for larger rivers. Moreover, the least intense withdrawal scenario still reduced summer flows by at least 21% for 50% of headwaters and creeks. The observed 90th quantile flow-ecology relationships indicate that such alteration could reduce species richness by 23% or more. Seasonally varying environmental flow standards and high fixed minimum flows protected the most streams from hydrologic alteration, but common minimum flow standards left numerous locations vulnerable to substantial flow alteration. This study clarifies how additional water demands in the region

  3. Environmental flows in the context of unconventional natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Brian P; Auerbach, Daniel A; McManamay, Ryan A; Taylor, Jason M; Flecker, Alexander S; Archibald, Josephine A; Fuka, Daniel R; Walter, M Todd

    2017-01-01

    Quantitative flow-ecology relationships are needed to evaluate how water withdrawals for unconventional natural gas development may impact aquatic ecosystems. Addressing this need, we studied current patterns of hydrologic alteration in the Marcellus Shale region and related the estimated flow alteration to fish community measures. We then used these empirical flow-ecology relationships to evaluate alternative surface water withdrawals and environmental flow rules. Reduced high-flow magnitude, dampened rates of change, and increased low-flow magnitudes were apparent regionally, but changes in many of the flow metrics likely to be sensitive to withdrawals also showed substantial regional variation. Fish community measures were significantly related to flow alteration, including declines in species richness with diminished annual runoff, winter low-flow, and summer median-flow. In addition, the relative abundance of intolerant taxa decreased with reduced winter high-flow and increased flow constancy, while fluvial specialist species decreased with reduced winter and annual flows. Stream size strongly mediated both the impact of withdrawal scenarios and the protection afforded by environmental flow standards. Under the most intense withdrawal scenario, 75% of reference headwaters and creeks (drainage areas <99 km(2) ) experienced at least 78% reduction in summer flow, whereas little change was predicted for larger rivers. Moreover, the least intense withdrawal scenario still reduced summer flows by at least 21% for 50% of headwaters and creeks. The observed 90th quantile flow-ecology relationships indicate that such alteration could reduce species richness by 23% or more. Seasonally varying environmental flow standards and high fixed minimum flows protected the most streams from hydrologic alteration, but common minimum flow standards left numerous locations vulnerable to substantial flow alteration. This study clarifies how additional water demands in the region may

  4. Assessment of continuous (unconventional) oil and gas resources in the Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale of the Piceance Basin, Uinta-Piceance Province, Colorado and Utah, 2016

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hawkins, Sarah J.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Klett, Timothy R.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Finn, Tom M.; Gaswirth, Stephanie B.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phoung A.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Pitman, Janet K.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.

    2016-06-08

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed a geology-based assessment of the continuous (unconventional) oil and gas resources in the Late Cretaceous Mancos Shale within the Piceance Basin of the Uinta-Piceance Province (fig. 1). The previous USGS assessment of the Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin was completed in 2003 as part of a comprehensive assessment of the greater UintaPiceance Province (U.S. Geological Survey Uinta-Piceance Assessment Team, 2003). Since the last assessment, more than 2,000 wells have been drilled and completed in one or more intervals within the Mancos Shale of the Piceance Basin (IHS Energy Group, 2015). In addition, the USGS Energy Resources Program drilled a research core in the southern Piceance Basin that provided significant new geologic and geochemical data that were used to refine the 2003 assessment of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas in the Mancos Shale.

  5. 78 FR 7394 - Foreign-Trade Zone 121-Albany, NY; Authorization of Production Activity; Albany Molecular...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-01

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board Foreign-Trade Zone 121--Albany, NY; Authorization of Production Activity; Albany Molecular Research, Inc.; Subzone 121A (Pharmaceutical Chemicals Production); Rensselaer, NY On September...

  6. The Eastern Gas Shales Project (EGSP) Data System: A case study in data base design, development, and application

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyman, T.S.; Wilcox, L.A.

    1983-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey and Petroleum Information Corporation in Denver, Colorado, developed the Eastern Gas Shale Project (EGSP)Data System for the U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown, West Virginia. Geological, geochemical, geophysical, and engineering data from Devonian shale samples from more than 5800 wells and outcrops in the Appalachian basin were edited and converted to a Petroleum Information Corporation data base. Well and sample data may be retrieved from this data system to produce (1)production-test summaries by formation and well location; (2)contoured isopach, structure, and trendsurface maps of Devonian shale units; (3)sample summary reports for samples by location, well, contractor, and sample number; (4)cross sections displaying digitized log traces, geochemical, and lithologic data by depth for wells; and (5)frequency distributions and bivariate plots. Although part of the EGSP Data System is proprietary, and distribution of complete well histories is prohibited by contract, maps and aggregated well-data listings are being made available to the public through published reports. ?? 1983 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

  7. Evaluation of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with flame photometric detection: potential application for sulfur speciation in shale oil.

    PubMed

    Mitrevski, Blagoj; Amer, Mohammad W; Chaffee, Alan L; Marriott, Philip J

    2013-11-25

    Flame photometric detection in the sulfur channel has been evaluated for sulfur speciation and quantification in comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography [GC × GC-FPD(S)] for S-compound speciation in shale extracts. Signal non-linearity and potential quenching effects were reportedly major limitations of this detector for analysis of sulfur in complex matrices. However, reliable linear relationships with correlation coefficient >0.99 can be obtained if the sum of the square root of each modulation slice in GC × GC is plotted vs. sulfur concentration. Furthermore, the quenching effects are reduced due to essentially complete separation of S-containing components from the hydrocarbon matrix. An increase of S/N of up to 150 times has been recorded for benzothiophene and dibenzothiophene in GC × GC-FPD when compared to GC-FPD due to the modulation process. As a consequence, 10 times lower detection limits were observed in the former mode. The applicability of the method was demonstrated using shale oil sample extracts. Three sulfur classes were completely separated and the target class (thiophenes) was successfully quantified after the rest of the sample was diverted to the second detector by using a heart-cut strategy. Based on the proposed method, 70% of the sulfur in the shale oil was assigned to the thiophenes, 24% to benzothiophenes, and 5% to dibenzothiophene compounds.

  8. Assessment of potential shale oil and tight sandstone gas resources of the Assam, Bombay, Cauvery, and Krishna-Godavari Provinces, India, 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, Timothy R.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Wandrey, Craig J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Gautier, Donald L.

    2014-01-01

    Using a well performance-based geologic assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a technically recoverable mean volume of 62 million barrels of oil in shale oil reservoirs, and more than 3,700 billion cubic feet of gas in tight sandstone gas reservoirs in the Bombay and Krishna-Godavari Provinces of India. The term “provinces” refer to geologically defined units assessed by the USGS for the purposes of this report and carries no political or diplomatic connotation. Shale oil and tight sandstone gas reservoirs were evaluated in the Assam and Cauvery Provinces, but these reservoirs were not quantitatively assessed.

  9. Sustaining Fracture Area and Conductivity of Gas shale Reservoirs for Enhancing Long-term Production and Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suarez-Rivera, R.; Marino, S.; Ghassemi, A.

    2010-12-01

    Natural gas from organic rich shale formations has become an increasingly important energy resource worldwide over the past decade. Extensive hydraulic fracture networks with massive contact surface areas are frequently required to achieve satisfactory economic production in these highly heterogeneous reservoirs, with permeability in the nano-Darcy range. Current operational experience in gas shale plays indicates that the loss of productive fracture area and loss of fracture conductivity, both immediate and over time, are the major factors leading to reduced flow rates, marginal production, and poor gas recovery. This theoretical and experimental project, funded by a RPSEA (Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America) program, is aimed at understanding the multiple causes of loss of fracture surface area and fracture conductivity. The main objectives of the project are: understand the multiple causes of loss of fracture area and fracture conductivity, and define solutions to mitigate the resulting loss of production. Define the types of fracture networks that are more prone to loosing fracture area and define critical parameters, for each reservoir type, (including proppant concentration, fluid interaction, relative shear displacement and others) to preserve fracture conductivity, and define an integrated methodology for evaluating reservoir properties that result in proneness to loss of fracture area and fracture conductivity, and define adequate solutions for the various reservoir types Current results include the evaluation of reservoir geology, mineralogy, reservoir properties, mechanical properties, including surface hardness, and petrologic analysis on cores representative of Barnett, Haynesville and Marcellus reservoir shales. A comparison of these properties provides an initial reference frame for identifying differences in behavior between the various reservoirs, and for anticipating the potential for embedment and loss of fracture conductivity

  10. CO2 utilization and storage in shale gas reservoirs: Experimental results and economic impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Schaef, Herbert T.; Davidson, Casie L.; Owen, Antionette Toni; Miller, Quin R. S.; Loring, John S.; Thompson, Christopher J.; Bacon, Diana H.; Glezakou, Vassiliki Alexandra; McGrail, B. Peter

    2014-12-31

    Natural gas is considered a cleaner and lower-emission fuel than coal, and its high abundance from advanced drilling techniques has positioned natural gas as a major alternative energy source for the U.S. However, each ton of CO2 emitted from any type of fossil fuel combustion will continue to increase global atmospheric concentrations. One unique approach to reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions involves coupling CO2 based enhanced gas recovery (EGR) operations in depleted shale gas reservoirs with long-term CO2 storage operations. In this paper, we report unique findings about the interactions between important shale minerals and sorbing gases (CH4 and CO2) and associated economic consequences. Where enhanced condensation of CO2 followed by desorption on clay surface is observed under supercritical conditions, a linear sorption profile emerges for CH4. Volumetric changes to montmorillonites occur during exposure to CO2. Theory-based simulations identify interactions with interlayer cations as energetically favorable for CO2 intercalation. Thus, experimental evidence suggests CH4 does not occupy the interlayer and has only the propensity for surface adsorption. Mixed CH4:CO2 gas systems, where CH4 concentrations prevail, indicate preferential CO2 sorption as determined by in situ infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques. Collectively, these laboratory studies combined with a cost-based economic analysis provide a basis for identifying favorable CO2-EOR opportunities in previously fractured shale gas reservoirs approaching final stages of primary gas production. Moreover, utilization of site-specific laboratory measurements in reservoir simulators provides insight into optimum injection strategies for maximizing CH4/CO2 exchange rates to obtain peak natural

  11. Water resources and shale gas/oil production in the Appalachian Basin: critical issues and evolving developments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kappel, William M.; Williams, John H.; Szabo, Zoltan

    2013-01-01

    Unconventional natural gas and oil resources in the United States are important components of a national energy program. While the Nation seeks greater energy independence and greener sources of energy, Federal agencies with environmental responsibilities, state and local regulators and water-resource agencies, and citizens throughout areas of unconventional shale gas development have concerns about the environmental effects of high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), including those in the Appalachian Basin in the northeastern United States (fig. 1). Environmental concerns posing critical challenges include the availability and use of surface water and groundwater for hydraulic fracturing; the migration of stray gas and potential effects on overlying aquifers; the potential for flowback, formation fluids, and other wastes to contaminate surface water and groundwater; and the effects from drill pads, roads, and pipeline infrastructure on land disturbance in small watersheds and headwater streams (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012). Federal, state, regional and local agencies, along with the gas industry, are striving to use the best science and technology to develop these unconventional resources in an environmentally safe manner. Some of these concerns were addressed in U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fact Sheet 2009–3032 (Soeder and Kappel, 2009) about potential critical effects on water resources associated with the development of gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale of the Hamilton Group (Ver Straeten and others, 1994). Since that time, (1) the extraction process has evolved, (2) environmental awareness related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing process has increased, (3) state regulations concerning gas well drilling have been modified, and (4) the practices used by industry to obtain, transport, recover, treat, recycle, and ultimately dispose of the spent fluids and solid waste materials have evolved. This report updates and expands on Fact Sheet 2009

  12. Temporal-resolved characterization of laser-induced plasma for spectrochemical analysis of gas shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Tao; Zhang, Yong; Zhang, Ming; He, Yi; Yu, Qiaoling; Duan, Yixiang

    2016-07-01

    Optical emission of laser ablation plasma on a shale target surface provides sensitive laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) detection of major, minor or trace elements. An exploratory study for the characterization of the plasma induced on shale materials was carried out with the aim to trigger a crucial step towards the quantitative LIBS measurement. In this work, the experimental strategies that optimize the plasma generation on a pressed shale pellet surface are presented. The temporal evolution properties of the plasma induced by ns Nd:YAG laser pulse at the fundamental wavelength in air were investigated using time-resolved space-integrated optical emission spectroscopy. The electron density as well as the temperatures of the plasma were diagnosed as functions of the decay time for the bulk plasma analysis. In particular, the values of time-resolved atomic and ionic temperatures of shale elements, such as Fe, Mg, Ca, and Ti, were extracted from the well-known Boltzmann or Saha-Boltzmann plot method. Further comparison of these temperatures validated the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) within specific interval of the delay time. In addition, the temporal behaviors of the signal-to-noise ratio of shale elements, including Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, Ba, Li, Ti, K, Na, Sr, V, Cr, and Ni, revealed the coincidence of their maximum values with LIBS LTE condition in the time frame, providing practical implications for an optimized LIBS detection of shale elements. Analytical performance of LIBS was further evaluated with the linear calibration procedure for the most concerned trace elements of Sr, V, Cr, and Ni present in different shales. Their limits of detection obtained are elementally dependent and can be lower than tens of parts per million with the present LIBS experimental configurations. However, the occurrence of saturation effect for the calibration curve is still observable with the increasing trace element content, indicating that, due to the

  13. Impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas development in southwest Pennsylvania on volatile organic compound emissions and regional air quality.

    PubMed

    Swarthout, Robert F; Russo, Rachel S; Zhou, Yong; Miller, Brandon M; Mitchell, Brittney; Horsman, Emily; Lipsky, Eric; McCabe, David C; Baum, Ellen; Sive, Barkley C

    2015-03-03

    The Marcellus Shale is the largest natural gas deposit in the U.S. and rapid development of this resource has raised concerns about regional air pollution. A field campaign was conducted in the southwestern Pennsylvania region of the Marcellus Shale to investigate the impact of unconventional natural gas (UNG) production operations on regional air quality. Whole air samples were collected throughout an 8050 km(2) grid surrounding Pittsburgh and analyzed for methane, carbon dioxide, and C1-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Elevated mixing ratios of methane and C2-C8 alkanes were observed in areas with the highest density of UNG wells. Source apportionment was used to identify characteristic emission ratios for UNG sources, and results indicated that UNG emissions were responsible for the majority of mixing ratios of C2-C8 alkanes, but accounted for a small proportion of alkene and aromatic compounds. The VOC emissions from UNG operations accounted for 17 ± 19% of the regional kinetic hydroxyl radical reactivity of nonbiogenic VOCs suggesting that natural gas emissions may affect compliance with federal ozone standards. A first approximation of methane emissions from the study area of 10.0 ± 5.2 kg s(-1) provides a baseline for determining the efficacy of regulatory emission control efforts.

  14. Regional air quality impacts of hydraulic fracturing and shale natural gas activity: Evidence from ambient VOC observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinciguerra, Timothy; Yao, Simon; Dadzie, Joseph; Chittams, Alexa; Deskins, Thomas; Ehrman, Sheryl; Dickerson, Russell R.

    2015-06-01

    Over the past decade, concentrations of many anthropogenic pollutants have been successfully reduced, improving air quality. However, a new influx of emissions associated with hydraulic fracturing and shale natural gas operations could be counteracting some of these benefits. Using hourly measurements from Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC areas, we observed that following a period of decline, daytime ethane concentrations have increased significantly since 2010, growing from ∼7% of total measured nonmethane organic carbon to ∼15% in 2013. This trend appears to be linked with the rapidly increasing natural gas production in upwind, neighboring states, especially Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Ethane concentrations failed to display this trend at a PAMS site outside of Atlanta, GA, a region without new widespread natural gas operations.

  15. Thermal maturity and organic composition of Pennsylvanian coals and carbonaceous shales, north-central Texas: Implications for coalbed gas potential

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackley, P.C.; Guevara, E.H.; Hentz, T.F.; Hook, R.W.

    2009-01-01

    Thermal maturity was determined for about 120 core, cuttings, and outcrop samples to investigate the potential for coalbed gas resources in Pennsylvanian strata of north-central Texas. Shallow (< 600??m; 2000??ft) coal and carbonaceous shale cuttings samples from the Middle-Upper Pennsylvanian Strawn, Canyon, and Cisco Groups in Archer and Young Counties on the Eastern Shelf of the Midland basin (northwest and downdip from the outcrop) yielded mean random vitrinite reflectance (Ro) values between about 0.4 and 0.8%. This range of Ro values indicates rank from subbituminous C to high volatile A bituminous in the shallow subsurface, which may be sufficient for early thermogenic gas generation. Near-surface (< 100??m; 300??ft) core and outcrop samples of coal from areas of historical underground coal mining in the region yielded similar Ro values of 0.5 to 0.8%. Carbonaceous shale core samples of Lower Pennsylvanian strata (lower Atoka Group) from two deeper wells (samples from ~ 1650??m; 5400??ft) in Jack and western Wise Counties in the western part of the Fort Worth basin yielded higher Ro values of about 1.0%. Pyrolysis and petrographic data for the lower Atoka samples indicate mixed Type II/Type III organic matter, suggesting generated hydrocarbons may be both gas- and oil-prone. In all other samples, organic material is dominated by Type III organic matter (vitrinite), indicating that generated hydrocarbons should be gas-prone. Individual coal beds are thin at outcrop (< 1??m; 3.3??ft), laterally discontinuous, and moderately high in ash yield and sulfur content. A possible analog for coalbed gas potential in the Pennsylvanian section of north-central Texas occurs on the northeast Oklahoma shelf and in the Cherokee basin of southeastern Kansas, where contemporaneous gas-producing coal beds are similar in thickness, quality, and rank.

  16. Impact of Unconventional Shale Gas Waste Water Disposal on Surficial Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cozzarelli, I.; Akob, D.; Mumford, A. C.

    2014-12-01

    The development of unconventional natural gas resources has been rapidly increasing in recent years, however, the environmental impacts and risks are not yet well understood. A single well can generate up to 5 million L of produced water (PW) consisting of a blend of the injected fluid and brine from a shale formation. With thousands of wells completed in the past decade, the scope of the challenge posed in the management of this wastewater becomes apparent. The USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program is studying both intentional and unintentional releases of PW and waste solids. One method for the disposal of PW is underground injection; we are assessing the potential risks of this method through an intensive, interdisciplinary study at an injection disposal facility in the Wolf Creek watershed in WV. Disposal of PW via injection begun in 2002, with over 5.5 mil. L of PW injected to date. The facility consists of the injection well, a tank farm, and two former holding ponds (remediated in early 2014) and is bordered by two small tributaries of Wolf Creek. Water and sediments were acquired from these streams in June 2014, including sites upstream, within, and downstream from the facility. We are analyzing aqueous and solid phase geochemistry, mineralogy, hydrocarbon content, microbial community composition, and potential toxicity. Field measurements indicated that conductivity downstream (416 μS/cm) was elevated in comparison to upstream (74 μS/cm) waters. Preliminary data indicated elevated Cl- (115 mg/L) and Br- (0.88 mg/L) concentrations downstream, compared to 0.88 mg/L Cl- and <0.03 mg/L Br- upstream of the facility. Because elevated TDS is a marker of PW, these data provide a first indication that PW from the facility is impacting nearby streams. In addition, total Fe concentrations downstream were 8.1 mg/L, far in excess of the 0.13 mg/L found upstream from the facility, suggesting the potential for microbial Fe cycling. We are conducting a broad suite of

  17. Thermo-sensitive polymer nanospheres as a smart plugging agent for shale gas drilling operations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei-Ji; Qiu, Zheng-Song; Zhong, Han-Yi; Huang, Wei-An; Dai, Wen-Hao

    2017-01-01

    Emulsifier-free poly(methyl methacrylate-styrene) [P(MMA-St)] nanospheres with an average particle size of 100 nm were synthesized in an isopropyl alcohol-water medium by a solvothermal method. Then, through radical graft copolymerization of thermo-sensitive monomer N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm) and hydrophilic monomer acrylic acid (AA) onto the surface of P(MMA-St) nanospheres at 80 °C, a series of thermo-sensitive polymer nanospheres, named SD-SEAL with different lower critical solution temperatures (LCST), were prepared by adjusting the mole ratio of NIPAm to AA. The products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, particle size distribution, and specific surface area analysis. The temperature-sensitive behavior was studied by light transmittance tests, while the sealing performance was investigated by pressure transmission tests with Lungmachi Formation shales. The experimental results showed that the synthesized nanoparticles are sensitive to temperature and had apparent LCST values which increased with an increase in hydrophilic monomer AA. When the temperature was higher than its LCST value, SD-SEAL played a dual role of physical plugging and chemical inhibition, slowed down pressure transmission, and reduced shale permeability remarkably. The plugged layer of shale was changed to being hydrophobic, which greatly improved the shale stability.

  18. Ground-Water Conditions and Studies in the Albany Area of Dougherty County, Georgia, 2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, Debbie W.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working with the Albany Water, Gas, and Light Commission to monitor ground-water quality and availability since 1977. This report presents an overview of ground-water conditions and studies in the Albany area of Dougherty County, Georgia, during 2007. Historical data are also presented for comparison with 2007 data. Ongoing monitoring activities include continuous water-level recording in 24 wells and monthly water-level measurements in 5 wells. During 2007, water levels in 21 of the continuous-recording wells were below normal, corresponding to lower than average rainfall. Ground-water samples collected from the Upper Floridan aquifer indicate that nitrate levels have decreased or remained about the same since 2006. Water samples were collected from the Flint River and wells at the Albany wellfield, and data were plotted on a trilinear diagram to show the percent composition of selected major cations and anions. Ground-water constituents (major cations and anions) of the Upper Floridan aquifer at the Albany wellfield are distinctly different from those in the water of the Flint River. To improve the understanding of the ground-water flow system and nitrate movement in the Upper Floridan aquifer, the USGS is developing a ground-water flow model in the southwestern Albany area of Georgia. The model is being calibrated to simulate periods of dry (October 1999) and relatively wet (March 2001) hydrologic conditions. Preliminary water-level simulations indicate a generally good fit to measured water levels.

  19. Temporal changes in microbial ecology and geochemistry in produced water from hydraulically fractured Marcellus shale gas wells.

    PubMed

    Cluff, Maryam A; Hartsock, Angela; MacRae, Jean D; Carter, Kimberly; Mouser, Paula J

    2014-06-03

    Microorganisms play several important roles in unconventional gas recovery, from biodegradation of hydrocarbons to souring of wells and corrosion of equipment. During and after the hydraulic fracturing process, microorganisms are subjected to harsh physicochemical conditions within the kilometer-deep hydrocarbon-bearing shale, including high pressures, elevated temperatures, exposure to chemical additives and biocides, and brine-level salinities. A portion of the injected fluid returns to the surface and may be reused in other fracturing operations, a process that can enrich for certain taxa. This study tracked microbial community dynamics using pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in water samples from three hydraulically fractured Marcellus shale wells in Pennsylvania, USA over a 328-day period. There was a reduction in microbial richness and diversity after fracturing, with the lowest diversity at 49 days. Thirty-one taxa dominated injected, flowback, and produced water communities, which took on distinct signatures as injected carbon and electron acceptors were attenuated within the shale. The majority (>90%) of the community in flowback and produced fluids was related to halotolerant bacteria associated with fermentation, hydrocarbon oxidation, and sulfur-cycling metabolisms, including heterotrophic genera Halolactibacillus, Vibrio, Marinobacter, Halanaerobium, and Halomonas, and autotrophs belonging to Arcobacter. Sequences relate