What is hydraulic fracturing and how does it affect the environment?


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Noon Seminar Series

When: Mar 27 2018 - 12:00pm until Mar 27 2018 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3121/3125, East-West Center

As the global population grows, studies suggest that world energy demand will double by 2050. Despite best efforts, it is also clear that, at least in the next 10‒20 years, renewables will only play a part in meeting this increased energy demand. Fossil fuels will continue to contribute the bulk of the world’s energy budget.

The use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” combined with horizontal and multilateral drilling, has transformed the North American energy landscape. Increasing use of cheap natural gas to offset coal as an energy source has made it possible for the US to become the only nation to meet and exceed its CO2 reduction targets under the Paris Climate Accord. This talk will:

  • Explain what hydraulic fracturing is and how it is executed
  • Describe the components in fracking fluids
  • Show how fractures behave in the subsurface
  • Address concerns about the contribution of fracking to water pollution, air pollution, and general environmental and landscape degradation.

Photo of Anthony CortisAnthony Cortis has 29 years of experience as a geologist and manager with Royal Dutch Shell. He played a key role in Shell’s strategic realignment towards unconventional gas and oil in the early 2000s and subsequently led ventures assessing tight gas, shale gas, shale oil, and coal-bed methane. He has managed large, capital-intensive projects in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Oman, and Malaysia, and most recently in the Sichuan Basin of China and offshore Myanmar. Mr. Cortis has an M.Sc. in geology from the University of Manitoba.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Laurel Pikcunas
Phone: 808-944-7444