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Marcellus Shale: Cementing and Well Casing Violations

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Natural gas extracted from shale formations is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the United States. Our IQP analyzes public data regarding regulatory violations related to the casing and cementing of shale gas extraction wells in the state of Pennsylvania. Computer based data analysis programs including Microsoft Excel and MATLAB were used to generate visual representations of the data, which allowed our group the ability to more easily identify trends. Our group also interviewed experts on the shale gas industry in order to gain a more complete understanding of the issues at hand. These specialists included petroleum engineers from drilling companies such as Range Resources, employees at U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and academic experts from institutions such as Cornell University. After these interviews and a thorough analysis of the available data, our group recognized and provided explanations for trends in the data. Some noteworthy trends identified by the group included the clustering of violations in the north-central region of Pennsylvania, and the fact that some companies appear to operate with a lower level of cementing and well casing violations. The group also identified specific areas which may need continuing research including the way that well sites are chosen for inspection and the effects of drilling through younger, shallower hydrocarbon formations in order to access the Marcellus Shale. Our final report was submitted to the DOE for use in their continuing research.

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    Dean-shinbrot et al marcellus shale cementing and wellcasing violations.pdf
    Natural gas extracted from shale formations is...
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State active
Data History 2011
Is NETL associated No
Organization Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Organization Acronym WPI
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