'Opportunities and Challenges of Shale Gas Development'


Purdue University joint Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences/Physics and Astronomy colloquia and S. Thomas Crough Memorial Lecture

4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, Matthews Hall, Room 210

Refreshments at 3:30 p.m., open to the public

Dr. Mark D. Zoback
Dr. Mark D. Zoback, Professor of Geophysics, Stanford University

Abstract: The proven ability to produce large quantities of natural gas from organic-rich shale formations is changing the energy picture in many parts of the world. In this talk I will discuss steps that can be taken to assure such resources are developed in an optimally efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Responsible development of shale gas resources has the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term and significantly reduce air pollution and benefit public health. I will discuss several on-going research projects investigating the wide variety of factors affecting the successful gas production from these extremely low permeability formations and procedures for managing the risks of earthquakes triggered by injection of hydraulic fracturing waste water.

Bio: Dr. Mark D. Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Dr. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production. Dr. Zoback was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault.  He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press, the author/co-author of 300 technical papers and holder of five patents. Dr. Zoback has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union.  In 2011, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and in 2012 elected to Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He recently served on the National Academy of Engineering committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection.

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