285245 Toward the Responsible Management of Produced Water: Predicting Best-Practice Outcomes From Firm Attributes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 8:55 AM
331 (Convention Center )
Meagan Mauter, Chemical Engineering/Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

Rapid development of shale gas in the Appalachian basin necessitates the evolution of technology and regional policies to minimize community and environmental impact.   While “unconventional” extraction techniques used in this region, including hydraulic fracturing, have been widely deployed in other parts of the country, the geology, environmental resources, and population densities of the Appalachian Basin require thoughtful translation of best-practices from states like TX and WY.  This work provides quantitative assessment of current practices in produced water management and analyzes the costs, energy intensity, community impacts, and treatment outcomes stemming from four distinct produced water management schemes in the Marcellus play.  This work also analyzes firm behavior and learning rates among the 79 operators currently drilling in the Marcellus, uncovering statistically significant attributes that predict best-practice behavior in the region.   Finally, this work proposes policy interventions to facilitate integration of disparate treatment and reuse networks with the aim of minimizing environmental and cost implications of produced water management.

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