News and Updates

Could deep-Earth microbes help us frack for oil?

Researchers are searching for life deep in the shale rock. The microbes have the potential to improve oil and gas drilling; life in shale would need to survive incredible pressure, searing heat.

Report Finds Little Fracking Pollution in Monongahela River

WBOY 12 reports that a USGS report has found little fracking pollution in the Monongahela River. More details at the link.

DOE-Sponsored Project to Study Shale Gas Production

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and its partners, West Virginia University (WVU), Northeast Natural Energy (NNE), and The Ohio State University, are moving forward on a project to monitor the process and progress of unconventional gas production at a Marcellus Shale well near Morgantown, WV.

Outreach

Our work has to potential to impact the lives of everyone from citizen to scientist. Here we can keep the public abreast of important information about which the public needs to be aware.

Timeline

3D Model

3D block model showing science and production wells at MSEEL site. First ground water contact is at ~ 450 ft and Marcellus shale at ~ 7576 ft. Depth of Marcellus shale has been compared to the height of Empire state building (1454 ft). Note that depth is true vertical depth but thicknesses of individual formations is exaggerated.



Click and drag left or right make the image below spin.

0%

    MSEEL site model shows the paths of the existing wells (yellow), new wells (red) and observation well (green) in relation to surface features and the bottom of the fresh water limit. The average fresh water depth is ~450 ft beneath the surface. The depth of the Marcellus shale at 1.4 miles beneath the surface.

    Research and Work Overview

    The objective of the MSEEL project is to gain a better understanding of the unconventional shale reservoirs through advanced reservoir characterization and monitoring of horizontal wells. Research will also focus on societal and envrionmental impacts of shale gas development.

    Deep subsurface Rock, Fluids and Gas

    Research will evaluate molecular, isotopic, geochemical, microbial, noble gas and physical characterization of core, fluids and gases.

    Geophysical and Geochemical

    Research will evaluate relation of production to microseismic event distribution.

    Surface Environmental

    Characterize temporal changes in liquid and solid wastes, air light and noise. Identify exposure pathways. Develop protective management and treatment strategies.

    Economic and Societal

    Research will evaluate governmental economic and societal impacts.

    Our Work

    Images display the varied research work being done by MSEEL research team.

    Location Map

    MSEEL Well Project

    MSEEL Science Well

    Top Hole Drilling of Wells

    Well Production

    Well production for MIP-3H, MIP-5H, MIP-4H, and MIP-6H

    Gas Production

    MIP-3H MIP-5H MIP-4H MIP-6H
    Log Values?

    Water Production

    MIP-3H MIP-5H MIP-4H MIP-6H
    Log Values?

    The MSEEL Project

    The MSEEL site will provide a well-documented baseline of reservoir and environmental characterization. Access to multiple Marcellus wells separated by sufficient time to analyze data will allow for the collection of samples and data, and the testing and demonstration of advanced technologies. The project’s phased approach allows for flexibility to identify and incorporate new, cost-effective technology and science focused on increasing recovery efficiency, while reducing environmental and societal impacts.

    • Demonstrate the Best Approach to Drill, Complete and Produce a New Horizontal Well That Minimizes Any Environmental/Social Costs While Maximizing Economic Productivity
    • Monitor and Document Impacts in a Controlled Environment on: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Local Air Pollution, Water Supply and Quality, Noise and Activity, and Societal Impacts
    • Develop New Technologies in: Microseismic Monitoring, Production Monitoring and Advanced Logging
    • Develop New Scientific and Engineering Approaches to Apply to Multi-disciplinary and Multi-institutional Natural Resource Studies

    The Team

    MSEEL research team is a collaborative research team from West Virginia University, Ohio State University and the Department of Energy.

    Dr. Tim Carr

    Project Director

    West Virginia University

    (304) 293-9660

    Dr. Jeff Daniels

    Project Director

    Ohio State University

    (614) 633-9446

    Jay Hewitt

    Site Manager

    Northeast Natural Energy

    (304) 241-5752

    Co-primary investigators