Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Environmentally Friendly Drilling Topic of One-Day Workshop at A&M-Kingsville Nov.10

KINGSVILLE - November 04, 2011

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

In the midst of what may be the next big Texas oil boom, the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE) at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and various other partners are focusing on the future of environmentally friendly drilling.  

“The Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) Systems Program: Managing the Eagle Ford Development” will feature guests speakers and experts in various fields who will discuss the environmental impact of natural gas drilling, completion and production, particularly as it relates to the Eagle Ford Shale Play—a region that stretches from Webb County to just northeast of Brazos County. Registration for the free workshop begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, November 10 at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center on the A&M-Kingsville campus.

“The workshop is designed to provide landowners, operators, regulators and other stakeholders with information on the latest technologies and research progress on minimizing the environmental footprint of shale gas operations for South Texas,” said Dr. Kim Jones, chair of the environmental engineering department in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering. “The event will showcase methods and techniques to reduce environmental impacts and help communities conserve and protect water resources and minimize air and land impacts.”

Program sponsors include Texas A&M University, the Houston Advanced Research Center, the Texas Center for Applied Technology, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The workshop will include information on strategies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of fracking—a commonly used method that utilizes highly pressurized fluid to cause a fracture in a rock layer, thus allowing for easier extraction of natural gas or petroleum. Among the issues to be covered during the workshop include the recycling of water crucial to the drilling process; emissions monitoring—of particular importance in relation to petroleum drilling; and closed loop mud systems, which can help reduce the discharge of toxic fluid waste from a drill site.

Jones said the presence of the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas presents unique opportunities for South Texas to utilize EFD practices. The objective of this most recent trend and these workshops focused on unconventional gas and oil recovery is to allow operators to drill both effectively and responsibly—using methods that an environmentally-conscious population can accept, he said.

“This is our opportunity for South Texas to be a world leader in developing this type of technology with reduced environmental impact,” Jones said.

“The connection between energy and environment is huge,” Jones said. “You can’t have a good environment and a healthy population without energy and vice versa.”

For more information or to register, contact Pam Hunt at 979-845-2272 pam.hunt@pe.tamu.edu or visit http://www.tamuk.edu/engineering/stxisee/home.html .

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