The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) is holding a Geosciences Technology Workshop (13-15 August in Golden, Colorado) focused on new developments in hydraulic fracturing with an emphasis on the importance of understanding the geology, rock properties, geomechanics, geochemistry, reservoir fluids, natural fracture systems and the nature of the reservoir itself. The approach is multi-disciplinary, and exploration and production issues will be expanded to consider environmental concerns, new technologies, and new findings about the reservoirs themselves.
The workshop is also intended to bring together technology developers and users with environmental specialists, regulators, and policy makers to find common ground and open channels of discussion and understanding.
This, suggests APPG, should lead to more technology-based and less emotional development of policies and regulations on oil and gas (O&G) activities, as well as improve the understanding by the O&G industry of how to avoid confrontation and improve hydraulic fracturing practices to eliminate any potential hazards to the public and surface owners.
Part of the motivation for the workshop is the fact that hydraulic fracturing for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas development and production has become a hot button issue for the public and regulators in most of the United States and Canada where this technology is being used or might be used in the near future. Concern and regulation of hydraulic also is growing in other areas of the world, especially in Europe.
There is a disconnect in most places between how the technology is applied and the real and perceived hazards to aquifers and surface owners (including induced-earthquake hazards) that have led to the contentious state of affairs, according to AAPG.