Shale and Natural Gas

Ohio’s vast shale resource, located in the Utica play in Point Pleasant Formation, is providing a new source of competitive energy. In 2012, oil and natural gas collected from 80 wells represented 16% of natural gas production and 12% of total oil for the state. Balancing economic, environment and public health needs requires expert research in multiple disciplines.

To this end, CWRU established the Shale Energy Research and Education Center. The Center’s thrust areas stem from CWRU’s core strengths in macromolecules, sensors, corrosion-resistant casings, cementitious materials and modeling and simulation of the hydro-fracking process.

The Center seeks to:

  • identify and support innovation in Shale with the commercialization of new drilling technologies
  • facilitate efficient and environmentally safe extraction and transport of shale gas and oil in Ohio
  • reach out to collaborative industry partners with projects to improve protective coatings for pipes used in shale gas exploration
  • create educational opportunities, beginning with courses in fracking, that have the potential to evolve into full concentration or degree programs

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is also involved in shale gas research in the United States to increase energy production and greater energy independence. NAE’s June 2013 conference “Topical Meeting on Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges” held at CWRU addressed current shale gas research efforts as well as the assorted impacts of drilling. Read more here.