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Director Corner
Improving Unconventional Oil and Gas Production in the Marcellus Shale Play

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.

Constant investigation, experimentation and inquiry lead to effective innovation and improvement. That’s one reason why NETL spearheaded an important research partnership that is expanding our knowledge about unconventional oil and natural gas technologies that have already sparked an economic boom and improved America’s national energy security.

Unconventional oil and gas refers to the resources that cannot be explored, developed and produced by conventional processes via pressure depletion and pumping operations. Our researchers’ efforts in the unconventional oil and gas arena led to innovations such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that opened the Marcellus Shale play to new levels of productivity.

But, improving the efficiency of those operations remains an ongoing endeavor. Great progress is being made through the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL) — a test well project in West Virginia intended to improve natural gas production efficiency and minimize environmental impacts at hydraulic fracturing sites throughout the Marcellus Shale region.

MSEEL is a partnership effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. NETL provides project management with West Virginia University, Ohio State University and Northeast Natural Energy as research partners.

Throughout July, we will bring you stories that explain how MSEEL works and feature ways this important partnership will continue to make important contributions to increasing the efficiency and environmental performance of production the Marcellus Shale play.