Panel 5: Unconventional Oil and Gas: Opportunities for Future Development and Managing Above-Ground Challenges

The United States has seen resurgence in petroleum production, mainly driven by improved hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling techniques for natural gas production from shale formations. Application of these technologies enabled natural gas to be economically produced from shale and other unconventional formations and contributed to the United States becoming the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2009. However, the rapid expansion of tight oil and shale gas extraction using high-volume hydraulic fracturing has raised concerns about its potential environmental and health impacts. These concerns include potential direct impacts to groundwater and surface water quality, water supplies, and air quality. In addition, some have raised concerns about potential long-term and indirect impacts from reliance on fossil fuels and resulting greenhouse gas emissions and influence on broader energy economics. This panel will examine the broader view of developing unconventional oil and gas. Can the success in the US be replicated elsewhere in the world? What is the most likely course of future shale gas? What are the externalities related to shale gas that we can be further managed to minimize its impacts?

Bill Fairhurst, Project Manager, The Bureau of Economic Geology (Moderator)
Charles Sternbach, President, Star Creek Energy
Colin Leyden, Senior Manager, State Regulatory & Legislative Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund
Sheila Olmstead, Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Etter-Harbin Alumni Center (UTX)
2110 SAN JACINTO BLVD , Austin, Texas 78712

Event Type

Academics, Business & Economy, Policy & Law, Science & Tech

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, General Public



free to UT students, faculty and staff but registration is required



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