Full Title: Coal Mine Drainage for Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction: Proceedings and Recommendations from a Roundtable on Feasibility and Challenges
Author(s): Amee E. Curtright and Kate Giglio
Publisher(s): RAND Corporation
Publication Date: 4/2012
Length: 47 pages, PDF


Description (excerpt):

On December 14, 2011, the RAND Corporation hosted and moderated a roundtable conference, “Feasibility and Challenges of Using Acid Mine Drainage for Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction,” with funding from the Marcellus Shale Coalition. The event brought together representatives from industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations to examine the use of coal mine water and, specifically, drainage from actively managed and abandoned coal mines to support hydraulic fracturing (popularly known as “fracking”) operations in the Marcellus Shale formation. The goal of the one-day conference was to assess the feasibility of such approaches, to examine the potential economic and environmental impacts, and to identify the data and regulatory gaps whose resolution would permit further exploration or use of these approaches. The participants concluded that the feasibility, cost, environmental benefits, and regulatory framework for using coal mine drainage in hydraulic fracturing will depend on the water’s quantity and quality (including the need for pretreatment), its proximity to natural gas extraction sites, the cost of such water sources compared with that of fresh water, and whether the regulatory and legal environment is amenable to industry exploration and development of the option. These proceedings provide an overview of the topics and discussions at the roundtable conference and are accompanied by a collection of online appendixes containing the papers and slides prepared by the panelists and presented at the event.