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U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Federal and Regional Efforts Related to Marcellus Shale Exploration and Production David P. Russ,

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Federal and Regional Efforts Related to Marcellus Shale Exploration and Production David P. Russ,"— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey Federal and Regional Efforts Related to Marcellus Shale Exploration and Production David P. Russ, Regional Executive, Northeast Area U.S. Geological Survey Maryland Marcellus Shale Technical and Policy Review Meeting December 2, 2010

2 2 Gas Shale Reservoirs Formerly considered only as hydrocarbon source rocks Now may be effective as hydrocarbon reservoir rocks

3 3

4 4

5 5 Marcellus Play Fairway – Vast Resource 50-ft isopach U – M Devonian outcrop

6 6

7 7 Drilling Pad (from Gott, 2007)

8 8 Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing (graphic by Al Granberg, 2008;

9 9 Water Availability Total water use for life of field may be large Net loss of fresh water (consumptive use) Impact may be larger on headwater streams Reduction of in-stream flows may affect habitats and endangered species Photo Courtesy of Damian M. Zampogna, The Susquehanna River Basin Commission

10 10 Marcellus Development Plan Photo: Chesapeake / Statoil

11 11 Frac Fluid = Fresh Water + Additives Injected fresh water commonly includes proprietary polymer additives to reduce pipe friction, increase frac width, & to improve sand proppant transport and clean-up. (Frantz and Jochen, 2005)

12 12 Frac Fluid Composition 0.44% of 3 million gallons = 13,200 gallons (from Arthur and others, 2008)

13 13 Surface Water Quality Fluid and chemical transport – spills Fluid and chemical transport – spills On-site fluid handling mishaps On-site fluid handling mishaps Disposal of flow back water Disposal of flow back water Photo Courtesy of Damian M. Zampogna, The Susquehanna River Basin Commission

14 14 Groundwater Quality Loss of control during hydraulic fracturing Loss of control during hydraulic fracturing Loss of control of flow back from well – release to surface Loss of control of flow back from well – release to surface Migration of contaminated formation water through fractures over time into groundwater Migration of contaminated formation water through fractures over time into groundwater Photo Courtesy of Damian M. Zampogna, The Susquehanna River Basin Commission

15 15 Marcellus Pipeline Construction - Pennsylvania (from Spectra Energy)

16 16 Marcellus Separation Facility – West Virginia (from Dominion Transmission, Inc.)

17 17 Elk County, PA (images from GoogleEarth, 2009) (from Coleman and others, 2009)

18 18 Summary of Major Concerns Actual presence of prognosed resources. Availability of large volumes of fresh water needed for drilling and completion of gas shale wells; impact of extraction on ecological flows Disposal or reuse of fluids used during drilling and stimulation after removal from the drill hole Impact of fracing on groundwater quality

19 19 Summary of Major Concerns Habitat fragmentation caused by densely spaced drill pads, compression facilities, and regional / interstate pipeline extensions and connections Impact of operations on fish, wildlife, habitat Introduction of invasive species Challenge of instituting a regulatory framework that includes Federal & State interests; harmonizing State and Commission footprints

20 20 Federal Activities USACE Federal lead for Susquehanna and Delaware Basin Commissions EPA Region 3 Resource Extraction Task Force – Water Quality & Waste Water EPA ORD conduct Hydrofracturing Study NOAA/NWS provides river flow information

21 21 Federal Activities (continued) Forming a Federal Interagency Team Developing a Comprehensive Impact Assessment – starting in Delaware River Basin Natural gas resource assessment underway – gas sands, shale gas, coalbed methane Surface water flow – stream gaging and water availability studies Bryan Moore, USGS

22 22 Federal Activities (continued) Water quality sampling and monitoring – enhancing gaging networks on streams, initiating limited flow back water sampling Initiating groundwater flow modeling to predict fate of injected fluids

23 23 Federal Activities (continued) Saline water resource evaluations Status and trends of endangered species – statutory responsibility Regional long-term baseline of groundwater and surface water

24 24 Next Steps Initiate Interagency Team Define content, timing, assets, and data needs for Comprehensive Impact Assessment Create Monitoring Council & identify needs-emphasis on protecting water supply and habitat in gas high yield areas; should industry pay? Plan and lead workshops – Stray Gas, Monitoring, DOE NETL Test Well


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