Shale gas extraction – the case for a multi-disciplinary study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Shale gas extraction (SGE) and, more precisely, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has a propensity to court controversy wherever it is proposed. Many processes within SGE are essentially civil engineering processes and while numerous studies into the efficacy of SGE exist, answers to ethical and societal questions relating to safety, health and environmental sustainability remain unanswered. Recently, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change announced its intention to support studies that encourage the development of innovative technologies for safe andresponsible exploitation of the UK’s shale gas resources. This paper explores the current state of knowledge regarding safety, health and wellbeing in the SGE industry, and presents the case for a detailed multi-disciplinary value-engineering study to develop pre-drill assessments and to provide ongoing monitoring tools that will assure public authorities, market operators and citizens that best-practice environmental, safety and sustainability approaches are available and feasible.
LanguageEnglish
Pages41-46
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Energy
Volume168
Issue number1
Early online date6 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2016

Fingerprint

Hydraulic fracturing
Sustainable development
Health
Value engineering
Civil engineering
Climate change
Shale gas
Monitoring
Industry

Keywords

  • fossil fuels
  • health & safety
  • infrastructure planning

Cite this

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title = "Shale gas extraction – the case for a multi-disciplinary study",
abstract = "Shale gas extraction (SGE) and, more precisely, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has a propensity to court controversy wherever it is proposed. Many processes within SGE are essentially civil engineering processes and while numerous studies into the efficacy of SGE exist, answers to ethical and societal questions relating to safety, health and environmental sustainability remain unanswered. Recently, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change announced its intention to support studies that encourage the development of innovative technologies for safe andresponsible exploitation of the UK’s shale gas resources. This paper explores the current state of knowledge regarding safety, health and wellbeing in the SGE industry, and presents the case for a detailed multi-disciplinary value-engineering study to develop pre-drill assessments and to provide ongoing monitoring tools that will assure public authorities, market operators and citizens that best-practice environmental, safety and sustainability approaches are available and feasible.",
keywords = "fossil fuels, health & safety, infrastructure planning",
author = "Ciaran McAleenan and Robert Weatherup and Gary Bogle and Philip McAleenan",
note = "Reference text: Andrews IJ (2013) The Carboniferous Bowland Shale Gas Study: Geology and Resource Estimation. British Geological Survey for Department of Energy and Climate Change, London, UK. BGS (British Geological Survey) (2011) The Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources of Britain’s Onshore Basins – Shale Gas. Department of Energy and Climate Change, London, UK. Cleary E (2012) Chief Medical Officer of Health‘s Recommendations Concerning Shale Gas Development in New Brunswick. Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Fredericton, NW, Canada. Colburn C, Kwiatkowski C, Schultz K and Bachran M (2011) Natural gas operations from a public health perspective. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, an International Journal 17(5): 1039–1056. DECC (2013) Strategic Environmental Assessment for Further Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing. DECC, London, UK, report for Oil and Gas Policy Unit. EC (European Community) (1989) Council directive of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (89/391/EC). Official Journal of the European Communities L183/1. EC (2014a) Commission recommendation of 22 January 2014 on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (2014/70/EU). Official Journal of the European Communities L39/72. EC (2014b) Horizon 2020 The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy. See http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/secure-clean-and-efficient-energy (accessed 24/02/2015). EU (European Union) (2006) Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) – Renewed Strategy. Council of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. Ewen C, Borchardt D, Richter S and Hammerbacher R (2012) Study Concerning the Safety and Environmental Compatibility of Hydrofracking for Natural Gas Production from Unconventional Reservoirs (Executive Summary). Report for Exxonmobil, Berlin, Germany. ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) (2012) Shale Gas Policy Position. ICE, London, UK. See http://www.ice.org.uk/getattachment/1875f3af-f76d-423c-a88e-ec96a873525f/Shale-gas-policy-position.aspx (accessed 30/06/2014). Jackson RB, Pearson BR, Osborn SG, Warner NR and Vengosh A (2011) Research and Policy Recommendations for Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale-Gas Extraction. Center on Global Change, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Kibble A, Cabianca T, Daraktchieva Z et al. (2013) Review of the Potential Public Health Impacts of Exposures to Chemical and Radioactive Pollutants as a Result of the Shale Gas Extraction Process. PublicHealth England, London, England. King GE (2012) Hydraulic fracturing 101: what every representative, environmentalist, regulator, reporter, investor, university researcher, neighbor and engineer should know about estimating frac risk and improving frac performance in unconventional gas and oil wells. In Proceedings of the 2012 SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers, Richardson, TX, USA (CD-ROM). King H (2014) What is Frac Sand? See http://geology.com/articles/frac-sand/ (accessed 06/11/2014). Lechtenbohmer S, Altmann M, Capito S et al. (2011) Impacts of Shale Gas and Shale Oil Extraction on the Environment and on Human Health. Economic and Scientific Policy, European Parliament Policy Department, Brussels, Belgium. Mathis P, Hugman R, Vidas H et al. (2014) Macroeconomic Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in the EU. European Commission DG ENV, Brussels, Belgium, report ENV.F.1/SER/2012/0046r. McAleenan C, Behm M, Weatherup R and McAleenan P (2013) Public and workplace safety and health in hydraulic fracturing. In Proceedings of the 19th International CIB World Building Congress (Kajewski S, Manley K and Hampson K (eds)). Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Mohajan H (2012) Unconventional shale gas extraction: present and future affects. International Journal of Human Development and Sustainability 5(2): 8–21. Moss K (2008) Potential Development of the Natural Gas Resources in the Marcellus Shale – New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Department of the Interior National Park Service, Denver, CO, USA. NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) (2012). Worker Exposure to Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing. NIOSH, Washington, DC, USA, report DTSEM 6/2012. Taylor C (2013) Infrastructure for Business. Getting Shale Gas Working. Institute of Directors, London, UK. USEIA (US Energy Information Administration) (2011) Review of Emerging Resources: U.S. Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays. Department of Energy, Washington, DC, USA. Wood R, Gilbert P, Sharmina M et al. (2011) Shale Gas: A Provisional Assessment of Climate Change and Environmental Impacts. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, report for Tyndall Centre.",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1680/ener.14.00022",
language = "English",
volume = "168",
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journal = "Proceedings of the ICE - Energy",
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Shale gas extraction – the case for a multi-disciplinary study. / McAleenan, Ciaran; Weatherup, Robert; Bogle, Gary; McAleenan, Philip.

In: Proceedings of the ICE - Energy, Vol. 168, No. 1, 06.03.2016, p. 41-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - McAleenan, Ciaran

AU - Weatherup, Robert

AU - Bogle, Gary

AU - McAleenan, Philip

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AB - Shale gas extraction (SGE) and, more precisely, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has a propensity to court controversy wherever it is proposed. Many processes within SGE are essentially civil engineering processes and while numerous studies into the efficacy of SGE exist, answers to ethical and societal questions relating to safety, health and environmental sustainability remain unanswered. Recently, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change announced its intention to support studies that encourage the development of innovative technologies for safe andresponsible exploitation of the UK’s shale gas resources. This paper explores the current state of knowledge regarding safety, health and wellbeing in the SGE industry, and presents the case for a detailed multi-disciplinary value-engineering study to develop pre-drill assessments and to provide ongoing monitoring tools that will assure public authorities, market operators and citizens that best-practice environmental, safety and sustainability approaches are available and feasible.

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KW - infrastructure planning

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JO - Proceedings of the ICE - Energy

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