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Hydraulic Fracturing and Associated Water Management Considerations in Existing and Developing Shale Gas Projects

Arthur, J. Daniel 1
1 ALL Consulting, Tulsa, OK.

The issue of hydraulic fracturing has raised many concerns from the public as well as government officials. This paper will review the history and evolution of hydraulic fracturing, including environmental and regulatory considerations. Additionally, technical and environmental considerations will be presented applicable to hydraulic fracturing in the unconventional arena of gas shales along with a discussion of managing flow-back and produced water. Topics addressed in the paper will include discussion on why hydraulic fracturing is performed; the hydraulic fracturing process; applicable design and engineering aspects of well completions; geological considerations such as confinement of the fracturing and water disposal process; potential risks to groundwater and underground sources of drinking water; alternatives for managing flow-back and produced water (including reuse/recycling); unconventional water management alternatives (such as downhole separators and treatment); and the use of hydraulic fracturing fluids and associated technical considerations. The primary gas shale plays that will be discussed include the Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009