The proven ability for horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing to produce large quantities of oil and gas from geologic formations with extremely low permeability is changing the energy picture in many parts of the world. In this talk, Dr. Zoback will discuss the promise of recovering vast new quantities of natural gas (and oil) an steps that can be taken to assure such resources are developed in an environmentally responsible manner. Topics to be covered include how horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing are carried out, proper well construction methods to avoid contamination of groundwater, and minimizing the risk associated with earthquakes triggered by waste water injection.
About the Speaker
Mark Zoback, Ph.D., is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University. Dr. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project in which a scientific research well was successfully drilled through the San Andreas Fault at seismogenic depth. He is the author of a textbook entitled Reservoir Geomechanics published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. He is the author/co-author of 300 technical papers and holds five patents. He was the co-founder of GeoMechanics International in 1996, where he was Chairman of the Board until 2008.
Dr. Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the 2006 Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society and the 2008 Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, in 2012 he was elected to Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and he is the 2013 winner of the Louis Néel Medal of European Geosciences Union and awarded an Einstein Chair Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He recently served on the National Academy of Engineering committee investigating the Deepwater Horizon accident and the Secretary of Energy’s committee on shale gas development and environmental protection. He currently serves on a Canadian Council of Academies panel investigating the same topic. Dr. Zoback currently serves as a Senior Executive Adviser to Baker Hughes.