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Water management challenges associated with the production of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing

Kelvin B. Gregory, Radisav D. Vidic and David A. Dzombak
Water management challenges associated with the production of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing
Elements (June 2011) 7 (3): 181-186

Abstract

Development of unconventional, onshore natural gas resources in deep shales is rapidly expanding to meet global energy needs. Water management has emerged as a critical issue in the development of these inland gas reservoirs, where hydraulic fracturing is used to liberate the gas. Following hydraulic fracturing, large volumes of water containing very high concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) return to the surface. The TDS concentration in this wastewater, also known as "flowback," can reach 5 times that of sea water. Wastewaters that contain high TDS levels are challenging and costly to treat. Economical production of shale gas resources will require creative management of flowback to ensure protection of groundwater and surface water resources. Currently, deep-well injection is the primary means of management. However, in many areas where shale gas production will be abundant, deep-well injection sites are not available. With global concerns over the quality and quantity of fresh water, novel water management strategies and treatment technologies that will enable environmentally sustainable and economically feasible natural gas extraction will be critical for the development of this vast energy source.


ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 7
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Water management challenges associated with the production of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing
Affiliation: Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Pages: 181-186
Published: 201106
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 27
Accession Number: 2011-055044
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N39°43'00" - N42°17'60", W80°31'60" - W74°40'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh, USA, United States
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201131
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