Webinars Provide Variety, Insight of Unconventional Resources

Less than two decades ago, few anticipated the changes shale development would bring. The Penn State Extension Shale Education Team provides a glimpse of these changes through monthly shale webinars.
Webinars Provide Variety, Insight of Unconventional Resources - News

Updated: January 5, 2018

Webinars Provide Variety, Insight of Unconventional Resources

Craig McKibben

Less than two decades ago, few anticipated the changes unconventional shale development would bring globally, touching upon all aspects of energy, industry, workforce, environment, and the economy. The Penn State Extension Shale Education Team provides a glimpse of these changes through monthly shale webinars, which are of interest to academia, business owners, industry, politicians, engineers, attorneys, economists, and all who are keen to know more about our changing energy world.

The new year starts off with a full slate of high-level webinars, such as research on natural gas liquids storage, stakeholder engagement, and hydraulic fracturing fluid research on natural gas foams.

For the petrochemical industry to grow in the Appalachian Basin, it is important for the natural gas liquids (NGLs) found in the shale in the Utica and Marcellus regions in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to be available for use. Creating a strong infrastructure of the industry is important, including NGL storage, trading and pipeline infrastructure.

To meet the needs of NGL storage, it is important to determine the potential of adequate subsurface storage in the region. For January’s webinar, Dr. Doug Patchen, Director, Resource Extraction Division for the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University, will discuss the research involved in determining possible underground storage potential. Dr. Patchen will be joined by Dr. Brian Anderson, Director of the West Virginia Energy Institute, to discuss the economic and business potential of creating a Storage Hub in the Appalachian region.

Having recently completed the playbook for the Utica/Point Pleasant Play, the Appalachian Oil and Gas Research Consortium was tasked with conducting this study within a 12-month period. “The study revealed that we have adequate storage potential for NGLs in three types of storage ‘containers’: solution cavities in the Salina F4 salt, mined cavities in the Greenbrier Limestone, and depleted gas reservoirs in older producing fields and gas storage fields,” states Patchen. “We are fortunate to have in this area not one, but two shale plays from which significant amounts of NGLs can be produced.” Anderson adds, “The challenge, however, is to develop a transportation and storage infrastructure that is sufficient enough to retain some of the NGLs in this area to support a revitalized petrochemical industry.”

The webinar, “Geologic Options for Subsurface Storage of Utica – Marcellus NGLs" will be held Thursday, January 18 from 1 to 2:15 PM ET. This is a special 75-minute long presentation.

On February 15th, Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) will discuss the value of strong stakeholder engagement when dealing with resource issues. Engagement early and often is necessary in the multi-step process of building trust. It’s important in evolving issues to understand the different viewpoints of those potentially impacted and to create an atmosphere of reasonable dialogue. Murphy will discuss key factors and examples of effective dialogue. The webinar, "The Value of Strong Stakeholder Engagement" will be from 1 to 2 PM ET.

A major drawback of hydraulically fracturing a well is the three to seven million gallons of water required, as well as its treatment, transportation and recycling. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) partnered with Southwest Research Institute to fracture wells using a natural gas-based foam. Key benefits of the use of natural gas are reduction in waste product, minimum separation of water and gas required, decreased water transport, less road wear and traffic, better well production due to less clay swelling, and fewer blockages for better gas flow. Griffin Beck, Research Engineer with Southwest Energy Institute will be discussing the research and findings in the March 15 webinar, "Research on Natural Gas Foam as a Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid".

For more information, contact Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or by email at .