Hydraulic Fracturing: the Changing Landscape of Energy and Technology

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm


Hydraulic Fracturing:
The Changing Landscape of Energy and Technology

Dean N. Malouta, CPG

Since the dawn of the new millennium, the energy industry has increased its attention on unconventional tight gas, shale gas and shale oil reserves. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates US gas reserves have nearly doubled to about 354 TCF in 2013. Reserves for the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale are estimated to be a combined 122TCF. The boom in tight gas and shale gas production became possible due to advances in technologies such as reliable horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracturing in horizontal wells as well as in more sophisticated geological and geophysical detection methods to detect and integrate stress and fracture directions. The talk will include some general awareness of hydraulic fracture procedures and techniques.

Sustainable development means ensuring use of the best possible techniques for safety and well design, for protecting ground water, for minimizing foot print, for mitigating air quality issues and to increase public awareness and assurance. Industry is taking significant public steps toward greater public awareness of its actions with respect to safe and environmentally responsible operations. In addition, much work has been done to distinguish between the practically negligible effects of seismicity resulting from fracturing vs. seismicity which may result from high rate, high volume fluid disposal into disposal zones with inappropriate geologic parameters. Examples of such activities will be discussed.

Dean Malouta is a recognized expert in conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration, and alternative and renewable energy. Mr. Malouta’s wide–ranging expertise includes exploration and development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources, safe oil field and drilling practices, and feasibility of alternative and renewable energy. He worked for Shell Exploration and Production from 1977 until his retirement in 2010. His career covered all aspects of E&P including prospecting, geophysical acquisition and processing, hydrodynamics, and deep-water development. He has experience with both operations and R&D and has extensive expertise in the exploration and development of the natural resources of the United States, Canada and South America. His final position at Shell was Head of Technology for Shell E&P Western Hemisphere. He has been a consultant for Shell, from 2011 to the present, developing safe and environmentally responsible operating practices for hydraulically fractured hydrocarbon production, as well as analyzing causes of induced seismicity from human activity. Dean was the principle author of Shell’s Onshore Operating Principles for safe and environmentally responsible hydraulic fracture operations. As a result of this work, Dean was appointed a member of the EPA Scientific Advisory Board’s U.S. Congressional Advisory Panel for hydraulic fracturing and protection of ground water resources.

Mr. Malouta received his undergraduate degree with top honors in Earth & Environmental Sciences at Queens College, CUNY, and did his graduate work at the University of Southern California. He is a Certified Petroleum Geologist (CPG) and a Licensed Geologist in the State of Texas.