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Looking for interesting research topics in Hydraulic Fracturing?

Keyword(s) :    fracking earthquakes oil water


Hydraulic Fracturing or in the area of Production Optimization.  I am a PhD student in the department of Petroleum Engineering.


By PD Tutor#1
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Oil and gas well development using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a somewhat controversial way to get petroleum products out of the ground.  It has greatly increased the amount of accessible petroleum products that people can get from the ground, but comes with environmental concerns.  The two major environmental concerns seem to the increased potential for groundwater pollution and the increase in the likelihood of earthquakes in the area where the fracking is occurring.  Because these concerns are so well-known, we would address them in any research we did about hydraulic fracturing. 

Research Topics on Hydraulic Fracturing

  1. What fluids work best in hydraulic fracturing?  Currently, fracking fluids are generally composed of some mix of water, sand, and chemicals.  The specific chemicals that are used vary from company to company and may be determined by the surrounding types of material.
  2. What steps can fracking companies take to minimize the likelihood of groundwater pollution and to alert them to groundwater pollution as soon as it happens?
  3. How do fracking companies prevent subsidence in areas that have been fracked and will these injected solutions or slurries of material result in long-term subsidence prevention?
  4. While fracking is most popular in the United States, other countries are doing fracking as well.  Are there differences in how other countries approach fracking, and, if so, what explains those differences?
  5. What are the most reliable current estimates of oil and gas reserves in the United States, and what percentage of those are likely to be accessible either through modern production means or by changes that are anticipated in production methods?
  6. Is fracking appropriate in metropolitan areas?  If not, what are the concerns that would prevent fracking in those locations? 
  7. Who provides oversight for fracking regulations in the United States? Are they qualified for that position?
  8. What are the safety concerns for field workers involved in…

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