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Northwestern Hosts Seminar Series on Tight Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing

Engineers, geoscientists, petroleum industry experts to speak April 4 to May 1

Shale gas plays, lower 48 states

Recent changes in petroleum production have resulted in an increased emphasis on tight shale gas, natural gas locked in bubble-like pockets within low-porosity rock. Releasing this hard-to-reach gas requires a controversial drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

During the month of April, Northwestern University will host a seminar series to discuss critical issues and opportunities in tight shale gas and hydraulic fracturing.

The speakers — representing universities, the petroleum industry, and the Congressional Research Service — will describe present practice for a general audience as well as future needs for a research-focused audience. (Morning lectures will be more technical-research focused.)

All lectures will be held in the Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Robert Langan, Chevron Energy Technology Company

“Short History of Shale Gas Phenomenon,” Thursday, April 4, 4:30 p.m., Room LR5

“Uncertainty in Micro Seismic Event Locations With Fracture in Tight Sand,” Friday, April 5, noon, Room F285

Arthur Rose, Pennsylvania State University

“Fracking the Marcellus in Pennsylvania,” Thursday, April 11, 4:30 pm, Room LR5

“Flow-Back Water of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania,” Friday, April 12, 10 a.m., Room A230

Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University

“Industrialization of the Shale Gas Operation,” Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 p.m., Room LR5

“Shale Gas Development: Leaks and Vents,” Thursday, April 18, 10 a.m., Room A230

Sidney Green, Schlumberger Ltd.

“Where Are We Today: Reservoir and Completion Quality,” Tuesday, April 30, 4:30 p.m., Room LR5

“How Can We Greatly Improve Hydraulic Fracturing Efficiency?” Wednesday, May 1, noon, Room M345

Michael Ratner, Congressional Research Service

“Current Economic and Policy Impacts,” Tuesday, April 30, 4:30 pm, Room LR5

“Future Economic and Policy Expectations,” Wednesday, May 1, noon, Room M345

The seminar series is sponsored by Northwestern’s Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Planetary Sciences.

For more information, visit