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Environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing: Measurements, monitoring, mitigation and management
Convener: Andrea Vieth-Hillebrand  | Co-Convener: Jan ter Heege 
 / Mon, 24 Apr, 13:30–17:00
 / Attendance Mon, 24 Apr, 17:30–19:00

The accelerated growth of oil and gas production from shale formations in the USA is accompanied by growing public concern on the environmental impacts. Main concerns are related to hydraulic fracturing (HF) which is required for oil & gas production from unconventional reservoirs, like e.g. shale gas. With HF, fractures in the rock are created or reactivated by the high-pressure injection of fluids, enabling hydrocarbons to flow to the wellbore. Potential environmental impacts of HF include the fate of chemical additives to the water used during stimulation, and, in particular, the possibility that these chemicals pollute surface and ground waters. Concerns are also raised about land and surface impacts, noise, and seismic events created by shale gas exploitation. There is also a strong debate on the greenhouse gas emissions related to shale gas exploitation (CO2 and methane), and its energy efficiency compared to other energy sources.
This session aims to bring together scientists from various disciplines involved in research on the geological, geochemical, geophysical, geomechanical and (micro)-biological processes that control the environmental impact that shale exploitation will or may have on the subsurface, surface and atmosphere. We welcome studies focusing on field, lab and modeling studies where environmental impacts of HF are measured and monitored. In particular, scientists studying mitigation and proper management of the environmental risks are encouraged to submit papers. Although the session focusses on HF contributions it is not restricted to HF, and studies on environmental impacts of shale gas exploitation in general will also be considered.