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Ohio Utica Shale

Viable waterless fracking technology being developed

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 27, 2013

The energy industry is developing ways to hydraulically fracture, or frack, shale using little to no water. A lot of work remains to be done to develop waterless fracking technology, reports The Texas Tribune. It can take millions of gallons of water typically  to frack wells now.

Kate Galbraith at the Tribune writes: "Water-free fracking still remains an early-stage technology, with potentially higher initial costs than conventional fracking methods. But as lawmakers and oil regulators focus on the large quantity of water used for fracking wells, the concept is getting a closer look. GasFrac has led the way, bringing its propane fracking operations to Texas, and there is talk of using other substances like carbon dioxide or nitrogen.

"'We've looked at [propane fracking], and I would say that absolutely our industry is open to all possibilities,' Michael Dunkel, the director of sustainable development for Pioneer Natural Resources, said in testimony last month before a joint hearing of the House Energy Resources and Natural Resources committees.

"Waterless fracking is 'a viable technology for sure,' said David Yoxtheimer, an extension associate with the Marcellus Center for Outreach & Research at Penn State University. However, he noted, there is a reason that companies use water, namely that it is 'virtually incompressible' and thus is very effective in bringing pressure against, and ultimately breaking up, rock."

Read the whole thing here.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.