What is Fracking?. By Amanda Weinstein Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy http://aede.osu.edu/programs/swank Weinstein.firstname.lastname@example.org Ohio Fracking 101: Technology, Regulation, and Leasing December 7, 2012 Sharonville, OH. Outline. Introduction Shale Resources Hydraulic Fracturing
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By Amanda Weinstein
Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy
Ohio Fracking 101: Technology, Regulation, and Leasing
December 7, 2012
Innovations in extracting oil and natural gas trapped below the surface in shale have led to oil and gas booms across the country and more recently to Ohio
Innovations include microseismic technology, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing
It has also brought concerns about the various impacts of the boom on the local community
Shale is a sedimentary rock generally high in organic content specifically oil and gas
“Conventional” oil and gas reserves occur when some of the oil and gas has migrated upwards, to layers of sandstone and porous limestone where it becomes trapped.
In some cases, a significant quantity of oil and gas remain in the shale rock. These reserves are called “unconventional”
Hydraulic fracturing is the process by which oil and gas is extracted from unconventional reserves.
Commercial hydraulic fracturing began in 1949, though it took several decades for it to become cost effective
Practical application of horizontal drilling to oil production began in the early 1980s in the Barnett Shale in Texas
Drilling tower in LycomingCounty, PA
An initial wellbore is drilled and thick steel pipe is placed in the hole and sealed with cement on the outside of the pipe.
Drilling recommences to the deeper zones of interest and when this depth is reached, a second string of steel pipe is run inside the first and additional cement is used to provide a permanent seal.
Spacing is variable
Marcellus wells can be spaced in 40-acre units or 16 wells per square mile. An average town could contain up to 1,500 wells.
About ½ the water will stay in the ground
The rest will come back up as “flowback” or “produced water” or wastewater (containing fracking chemicals as well as other minerals occurring naturally below the surface)
In some cases the water can be reused for fracturing
The wastewater will often be stored in a lined pit onsite until it can be transported to an injection well or containment vessel
Wells are then shut in, or capped, while awaiting completion of pipelines to transport the natural gas to market
Gathering lines feed gas to compressor stations and metering sites which are connected to larger pipelines
Estimated that a well can continue to produce for up to 30 years
Highest flow rates of natural gas in the first weeks declines over time
A bridge to more environmentally friendly energy production
Carbon benefits may be slightly less due to the trucking requirements, but carbon emissions remain significantly less than coal
Commenting on shale energy development, Aubrey McClendon CEO of Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch saying, “This will be the biggest thing in the state of Ohio since the plow.”
Industry funded estimates range from 65,000 to 200,000 jobs created by shale development in Ohio
We are concerned that job numbers may be overinflated by an industry (any industry).
Examining the trends in employment data we find the jobs impact of shale development will be approximately 20,000 after accounting for the multiplier effect.
Expect modest employment effects (capital intensive, displacement, and small share) but more significant income effects
Research Associate for the Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy
Dept. Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics
The Ohio State University
Major Holders of Utica Shale Right in Ohio (April 2012)