West Virginia University is hosting a day-long workshop to discuss social, environmental and technical issues related to natural gas drilling and production beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 at the Hilton Gardens Inn at Southpointe, Pa.

Titled “The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program—Managing the Marcellus Play Development in Sensitive Areas,” the workshop features regional and national experts with experience in Marcellus Shale issues and natural gas work in other parts of the U.S.

The Appalachian Oil and Gas Research Consortium, part of WVU’s Advanced Energy Initiative, is coordinating the workshop with two national groups, the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council and the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program. The WVU Advanced Energy Initiative coordinates University-wide energy research in science, technology, engineering and public policy.

Doug Patchen, former chief geologist at the West Virginia Geological Survey, directs the Appalachian Oil and Gas Research Consortium activities at WVU.

“The workshop speakers, in many cases, have a lot of experience in drilling activity in other parts of the country,” he explained. ‘My hope is that they can provide both insight and a perspective on best practices that will be useful as the Marcellus play unfolds. The purpose of the workshop is to bring communities, government agencies, environmental groups and oil and gas companies together to identify and discuss social, environmental and technical issues related to natural gas drilling, completion and production. The workshop will help us inform stakeholders about research programs currently under way to address those issues.”

Workshop speakers include representatives from:

• West Virginia Rivers, an environmental advocacy group
• Pennsylvania Geologic and Topographic Survey
• New York Department of Environmental Conservation
• West Virginia Department of Environmental Resources
• Texas A&M University
• Sam Houston State University
• Houston Advanced Research Center
• Smith Power
• Universal Well
• M-I SWACO, a drilling services company

The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council was established to provide a forum for transfer of technology and best-practices within the producer community and to connect independents with the technology and knowledge to safely and responsibly develop the nation’s oil and gas resources.

WVU is a key leader in the Council along with the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, Illinois State Geological Survey, Western Michigan University, University of Kansas, Colorado School of Mines, Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin and Conservation Committee of California Oil and Gas Producer.

The Environmental Friendly Drilling Systems Program is operated by the Houston Advanced Research Center and Texas A&M University, along with industry sponsors and stakeholders (NGOs, government agencies, and others). The program integrates advanced technologies into systems that significantly reduce the impact of petroleum drilling and production in environmentally sensitive areas.

For more information, contact Doug Patchen, director, Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium, West Virginia University: (304) 293 2867 ext. 5443, doug.patchen@mail.wvu.edu



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CONTACT: Doug Patchen
(304) 293 2867 ext. 5443, doug.patchen@mail.wvu.edu