RELATED ACADEMIES REPORTS


Consensus Studies


Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines: A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response (2015) – Download Free PDF

Diluted bitumen has been transported by pipeline in the United States for more than 40 years, with the amount increasing recently as a result of improved extraction technologies and resulting increases in production and exportation of Canadian diluted bitumen. The increased importation of Canadian diluted bitumen to the United States has strained the existing pipeline capacity and contributed to the expansion of pipeline mileage over the past 5 years. Although rising North American crude oil production has resulted in greater transport of crude oil by rail or tanker, oil pipelines continue to deliver the vast majority of crude oil supplies to U.S. refineries.

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Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies (2013) – Download Free PDF

In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention.

VIDEO – ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES AND MANMADE EARTHQUAKES

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Management and Effects of Coalbed Methane Producted Water in the Western United States (2010) – Download Free PDF

In some coalbeds, naturally occurring water pressure holds methane–the main component of natural gas–fixed to coal surfaces and within the coal. In a coalbed methane (CBM) well, pumping water from the coalbeds lowers this pressure, facilitating the release of methane from the coal for extraction and use as an energy source. Water pumped from coalbeds during this process–CBM ‘produced water’–is managed through some combination of treatment, disposal, storage, or use, subject to compliance with federal and state regulations.

Workshop Summaries


Development of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in the Appalachian Basin (2014) – Download Free PDF

Summary of a workshop to examine the geology and unconventional hydrocarbon resources of the Appalachian Basin; technical methods for producing unconventional hydrocarbons and disposing of wastewater; the potential effects of production on the environment; relevant policies and regulations; and priorities for future scientific and engineering research. Workshop presentations by experts in the fields of geosciences and engineering examined the numerous geoscientific aspects of hydrocarbon development from unconventional resources, including natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids.

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Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction: Workshop Summary (2014) – Download Free PDF

Natural gas extraction from shale formations, which includes hydraulic fracturing, is increasingly in the news as the use of extraction technologies has expanded, rural communities have been transformed seemingly overnight, public awareness has increased, and regulations have been developed. The governmental public health system, which retains primary responsibility for health, was not an early participant in discussions about shale gas extraction; thus public health is lacking critical information about environmental health impacts of these technologies and is limited in its ability to address concerns raised by regulators at the federal and state levels, communities, and workers employed in the shale gas extraction industry.

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Risks and Risk Governance in Shale Gas Development: Summary of Two Workshops (2014) – Download Free PDF

Natural gas in deep shale formations, which can be developed by hydraulic fracturing and associated technologies (often collectively referred to as “fracking”) is dramatically increasing production of natural gas in the United States, where significant gas deposits exist in formations that underlie many states. Major deposits of shale gas exist in many other countries as well. Proponents of shale gas development point to several kinds of benefits, for instance, to local economies and to national “energy independence”. Shale gas development has also brought increasing expression of concerns about risks, including to human health, environmental quality, non-energy economic activities in shale regions, and community cohesion. Some of these potential risks are beginning to receive careful evaluation; others are not. Although the risks have not yet been fully characterized or all of them carefully analyzed, governments at all levels are making policy decisions, some of them hard to reverse, about shale gas development and/or how to manage the risks.