Water management will be critical to the US to realize the “once-in-a-generation opportunity” brought by innovations in unconventional oil and gas production,” according to a new report by Harvard Business School and the Boston Consulting Group America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity. read more…
Editor’s note: The energy exploration industry is the first to demand advanced water technology for economic reasons: water efficiency during hydraulic fracturing means cost savings. Advances in on-site water treatment for energy exploration will drive down costs for the technology to a point where it can be implemented in break-even or non-profitable situations, like personal housing and small to medium-size businesses, where demand will grow as current water infrastructure decays. Vikram Rao and peers will present on topics surrounding water use in energy exploration at an upcoming Artemis Project webinar.
MIT’s most recent report on energy is on the Future of Natural Gas, following similar reports on coal and nuclear energy. It is co-edited by Ernest Moniz and Tony Meggs. The latter recently left BP as CTO. As reported in Forbes recently, the report emphasizes the role of shale gas in enabling natural gas substitution of coal. The authors see this as a transitional strategy for a low carbon future. We agree with that and have expressed similar ideas in the Directors Blog.
However, the report is surprisingly shy about discussing the environmental issues seen as facing shale gas exploitation. While we believe these are indeed tractable, they merit much more discussion than they were given. Accordingly we repair some of that omission here.The most significant issues center on three matters: fresh water withdrawals, flow back water and collateral issues, and produced water handling and disposal. [Read more…]