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Environmental Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas in the United Kingdom

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas in the United Kingdom"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Implications of Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas in the United Kingdom

2 Sustainability: Carbon Footprint

3 Shale gas GHG emissions Comparison of lifecycle GHG emissions from pre-production stages for shale gas from AEA European Commission study and others (Forster & Perks 2013, p. 64).

4 Comparison of the life-cycle emissions for the production of electricity from various sources of gas, and coal. Shale gas the emissions intensity depends on the assumed completion method; here it has been assumed that methane released during completion would be 90% captured and flared. (MacKay & Stone 2013) Comparative emissions of fossil fuels

5 (Friends of the Earth, 2013)

6 CBM- Coal Bed Mathane; UCG- Underground Coal Gasification

7 “To ensure that shale gas exploitation doesn’t increase cumulative greenhouse gas emissions it is crucial that society maintains efforts to drive down the costs of low- carbon technologies, including carbon capture and storage.” (MacKay & Stone 2013)

8 Sustainability: Water footprint

9 :‘a few thousand’ to 20,000 m3 (International Energy Agency, 2012) 10,000 to 30,000 m3 (Department for Energy and Climate Change, 2013) 10,000m3 to 35,000m3 (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2011, p. 8). Water use estimates

10 Immediate Environmental Impact: Water Contamination


12 polyacrylamide friction reducers hydrochloric acid Biocide This will change on a ‘case by case basis’ (DECC 2013, p. 11). Approved fracking chemicals in the UK:

13 Leaks via well-casings that have been inadequately completed or which have subsequently failed Leaks or spills of fracking fluid or ‘produced water’ above ground Migration down naturally occurring fractures in the rock or via extension of fractures created by fracking or via nearby abandoned wells (Friends of the Earth, 2013) Causes of water contamination

14 Immediate Environmental Impact: Seismic Activity

15 “The Low Carbon Hub believes that ~75% of remaining fossil reserves should stay in the ground. Fracked gas is fossil fuel and therefore adds to the stock of carbon being put into the atmosphere, whether it helps the UK- specific position look better short-term or not. We believe that fracking is a short-term, transition resource which will only delay the necessary implementation of a whole-system change to decentralised renewables. Therefore we would only be able to support anything on fracking if safety concerns were allayed; CCS was made mandatory; and there was a strong link between the exploitation of that resource and the use of revenues from it to speed up deployment of renewables, reduction of electricity demand and development of a national Smart Grid.”


17 Arthur, J. D., Langhus, B., & Alleman, D. (2008). An overview of modern shale gas development in the United States. Retrieved from Brooks, M. (2013). Frack to the Future. New Scientist, 36–41. Carbon Tracker Initiative. (2012). Unburnable Carbon – Are the world’s financial markets carrying a carbon bubble? Retrieved from content/uploads/downloads/2011/07/Unburnable-Carbon-Full-rev2.pdf Davey, E. (2013). The Myths and Realities of Shale Gas Exploration. Retrieved October 18, 2013, from shale-gas-exploration DECC. (2012). Gas Generation Strategy. Retrieved from a/file/65654/7165-gas-generation-strategy.pdf DECC. (2013). About shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). London. Bibliography

18 Dr. C.J. de Pater, & Baisch, D. S. (2011). Geomechanical Study of Bowland Shale Seismicity. Lichfield. Retrieved from content/uploads/2012/02/Geomechanical-Study-of-Bowland-Shale- Seismicity_02-11-11.pdf Durand, M. (2012). The Exploitation of Conventional Gas Wells vs Exploitation by Extended Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing. Retrieved from Ellsworth, W. L. (2013). Injection-Induced Earthquakes. Science, 341(6142). doi:10.1126 Friends of the Earth. (2013). The UK, shale gas and unburnable carbon: Questions for the UK Government. Retrieved from pdf Holland, A. A. (2011). Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma. Retrieved from

19 Ikeda, R. (2013). Review of Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Research Activities. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from Kim, W.-Y. (2013). Induced seismicity associated with fluid injection into a deep well in Youngstown, Ohio. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118(7), 3506–3518. MacKay, D. J. C., & Stone, T. J. (2013). Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Shale Gas Extraction and Use. Retrieved from a/file/237330/MacKay_Stone_shale_study_report_09092013.pdf RAE, & RS. (2012). Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing Issued: June 2012 DES2597. Retrieved from Warner, N. R., Christie, C. A., Jackson, R. B., & Vengosh, A. (2013). Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(20), 11849–11857. doi:10.1021/es402165b

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