Research and Policy Recommendations for Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale‐Gas Extraction by
Robert B. Jackson,1‐3 Brooks Rainey Pearson,4 Stephen G. Osborn,1 Nathaniel R. Warner,2 Avner Vengosh2 1) Center on Global Change, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708‐0658 2) Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0328 3) Biology Department, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0338 4) Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708‐0335 Citation: Jackson RB, B Rainey Pearson, SG Osborn, NR Warner, A Vengosh 2011 Research and policy recommendations for hydraulic fracturing and shale‐gas extraction. Center on Global Change, Duke University, Durham, NC.
Corresponding Author: R.B. Jackson, Jackson@duke.edu, 919‐660‐7408
The extraction of natural gas from shale formations is one of the fastest growing trends in American on‐shore domestic oil and gas production.1 The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the United States has 2,119 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, about 60% of which is “unconventional gas” stored in low permeability formations such as shale, coalbeds, and tight sands.2 Large‐scale production of shale gas has become economically viable in the last decade attributable to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (also called “hydro‐ fracturing” or “fracking”).3 Such advances have significantly improved the production of natural gas in numerous basins across the United States,4 including the Barnett, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Woodford, Utica, and Marcellus shale formations (Figure 1). In 2009, 63 billion cubic meters of gas was produced from deep shale formations. In 2010, shale gas production doubled to 137.8 billion cubic meters,5 and the EIA projects that by 2035 shale gas production ...