Division of Environmental Geosciences Luncheon
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition - Long Beach, California USA
Hydraulic Fracturing: Separating Myth from Reality
by Steve Leifer, Guest Speaker
Most experts agree that the United States has over 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas entrained in the ground, about equal to all Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves and enough to provide the country with 100 years’ worth of energy at current usage rates.
Much of our natural gas reserves reside in shales and tight sands and can only be accessed through techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Yet through documentaries such as Gasland and targeted political campaigns, environmental groups have initiated an all-out war on shale development in general and hydraulic fracturing in particular. They allege that drilling and “fracing” will create and release methane, contaminate water supplies and even cause seismic events.
Steve Leifer, who works on hydraulic fracturing issues in 25 states and 10 foreign countries, will examine current regulatory, legislative, and private initiatives directed at hydraulic fracturing, attempt to sort out whether various environmental concerns have a sound scientific basis, and project what challenges to the use of this technology might lie ahead.