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But US researchers found that shale gas wells leak substantial amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This makes its climate impact worse than conventional gas, they say - and probably worse than coal as well.
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Furthermore, the fracturing results of horizontal shale gas wells are often poor in the fault areas, because even a small fault can transfer or drain the huge fracturing energy. The more the faults are, the more the potential leaking belts are, and the poorer the fracturing effect is . Therefore, except for shale gas resource conditions, engineering problems in drilling and completion are another reason for the poor effect of shale gas exploitation in the complex tectonic areas.
Oil shale extraction is also very energy-intensive, and as such is no solution to our global warming woes. Researchers have found that a gallon of shale oil can emit as much as 50 percent more carbon dioxide than a gallon of conventional oil would over its given lifecycle from extraction to tailpipe.
Shale gas is one of a number of unconventional sources of natural gas; others include coalbed methane, tight sandstones, and methane hydrates. Shale gas areas are often known as resource plays (as opposed to exploration plays). The geological risk of not finding gas is low in resource plays, but the potential profits per successful well are usually also lower.
Shale gas drilling has significant water supply issues. The drilling and fracturing of wells requires large amounts of water. In some areas of the country, significant use of water for shale gas production may affect the availability of water for other uses, and can affect aquatic habitats.
In countries like Poland and China where there is heavy dependence on coal power, shale gas has the potential to reduce national emissions by displacing coal. But it wouldn’t necessarily play out in the same way in the UK. This country is already heavily dependent on gas, so there’s less potential for a coal-to-gas switch to bring down emissions.
Shale Oil & Greenhouse Gases So far, studies suggest that extracting oil shale en masse would have adverse effects on air, water, and land (at the extraction sites). For example, the distillation process releases toxic pollutants into the air, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and lead.
It is not only a lack of raw materials that is the issue. Energy, in the form of gas, in Europe is three times higher than the USA today, whilst electricity is 50% higher. About 85% of UK homes rely upon gas for heating or cooking, and our indigenous UK supply from the North Sea has now dwindled to less than 50% of our demand.
prospective for shale gas, will enable any increase due to shale gas operations to be quantified. Fracking chemicals and contaminants in groundwater can also be caused by leakage due to poor well integrity, as well as by leaks and spills from surface operations.