Royal Society & Royal Acadamy of Engineering Review of Shale Gas

09Jul / 2012

Royal Society & Royal Acadamy of Engineering Review of Shale Gas

The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser asked for the above bodies to carry out an independent review of shale gas extraction. The report was published this week and highlights that the health, safety and environmental risks associated with ‘fraccing’ can be effectively managed through operational best practice. Recommendations in the report include:

  • The continuous monitoring of ground gas and regular sampling of near surface groundwater can provide evidence of well failure.
  • Gas migrating outside the well casing and surrounding area may indicate well failure. This can be detected through the continuous monitoring of ground gases around the perimeter of each well pad.
  • The monitoring of methane and other contaminants should occur before, during and after shale gas operations.
  • Monitoring before drilling and ‘fraccing’ is important as this will provide baseline conditions.
  • The characterisation of the ground gas and groundwater conditions to each site prior to ‘fraccing’ enable regulators to demonstrate that environmental protection measures are acceptable.
  • Continuous ground gas monitoring and aquifer sampling should continue after shale gas operations to dectect possible well failure post abandonment.

For further reading please find the full report here:
http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/shale-gas/2012-06-28-Shale-gas.pdf

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