Are We Totally Fracked? Or is This Fracking Awesome?

Hydraulic Fracturing, known commonly as “Fracking”, is an unconventional drilling method by which natural gas is extracted from the earth. This has received a great deal of attention in recent years as production ramps up and documentaries like “Gasland” and movies like “Promised land” highlight many of the more prominent environmental concerns.
What it is: Conventional oil and gas drilling involves drilling down to the level of a liquid reserve of gas or oil and then pumping it out. Shale gas, the kind extracted by ‘fracking’, is trapped in formations underground that keep the gas stationary. In order to ‘free’ this gas, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground. The resulting pressure fractures the shale holding the gas in place and the gas is then extracted.The Marcellus Shale, which underlies much of Western Pennsylvania, is arguably the largest play in the United States and vigorous development is underway. After an initial boom in the early to mid-2000s, development experienced a bit of a slowdown as gas prices plummeted, but developers still hold many leases and production is expected to continue and increase as gas prices recover and natural gas electricity production continues to grow.
Special to this Forum:
We will spend about 15 minutes at the start of forum with a short
discussion about some of the papers that are featured in the latest edition of the Heinz Journal. Use this opportunity to learn about what your peers wrote about and ask any questions that you might have.
This forum will be co-hosted by a member of the Systems Synthesis Team that studied Fracking last semester. We got a ton of requests for this topic last semester and some of your colleagues have spent a lot of time becoming experts in this arena- it should be a good one!
Classy beverages and snacks will be provided.*
DATE: Thursday, January 24, 2013
TIME: 8:30pm – 9:45pm (AFTER evening classes) WHERE: Hamburg Hall 1502 WHO: Students from ALL programs are encouraged to attend!!  
The general structure of our conversation will be as follows:
First ⅓: Should we be fracking at all? Environmental concerns
2nd ⅓: Heinz Systems Synthesis: pooling, unitization, spacing
Final ⅓: How will (or should) natural gas production affect state economies, the US and the world.
* Please bring your government ID, and don’t forget your opinion…
  Sponsored by The Heinz Journal

About the author

Heinz Journal

Heinz Journal

The Heinz Journal is a student-run publication of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, dedicated to publishing works that link critical and theoretical analysis with policy implementation.

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