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Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy
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Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

PNAS
30 Jun 2014
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff
Previous research has demonstrated that proximity to unconventional gas development is associated with elevated concentrations of methane in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania. To date, the mechanism of this migration is poorly understood. Our study, which looks at more than 41,000 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, helps to explain one possible mechanism of methane migration: compromised structural integrity of casing and cement in oil and gas wells. Additionally, methane, being the primary constituent of natural gas, is a strong greenhouse gas. The identification of mechanisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development.
Peer Reviewed

A new look at methane and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin

Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres
08 May 2014
Gabrielle Pétron, Anna Karion, Colm Sweeney, Benjamin R. Miller, Stephen A. Montzka, Gregory Frost, Michael Trainer, Pieter Tans, Arlyn Andrews, Jonathan Kofler, Detlev Helmig, Douglas Guenther, Ed Dlugokencky, Patricia Lang, Tim Newberger, Sonja Wolter,
The study revisits the estimates of hydrocarbon emissions from an oil and gas basin using airborne measurements and finds that inventories underestimate hydrocarbon emissions in the basin by a factor of 2 or more.
Peer Reviewed

Spatially Explicit Methane Emissions from Petroleum Production and the Natural Gas System in California

Environmental Science & Technology
23 Apr 2014
Seongeun Jeong,* Dev Millstein, and Marc L. Fischer
This study presents a spatially-resolved methane inventory for the state of California based on EPA emission factors and compares the estimated emissions to atmospheric measurements. The study finds that the EPA's methane emission estimates for natural gas transmission and distribution are too low by a factor of 2.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Public Health England’s draft report on shale gas extraction

British Medical Journal
17 Apr 2014
Adam Law, Jake Hays, Seth B. Shonkoff, Madelon L. Finkel
This editorial critique argues for an emphasis on actual practices rather than best practices in public health assessments.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Environmental Public Health Dimensions of Shale and Tight Gas Development

Environmental Health Perspectives
16 Apr 2014
Seth B. Shonkoff, Jake Hays, and Madelon L. Finkel
Peer Reviewed

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development

PNAS
14 Apr 2014
Dana R. Caulton, Paul B. Shepson, Renee L. Santoro, Jed P. Sparks, Robert W. Howarth, Anthony R. Ingraffea, Maria O. L. Cambaliza, Colm Sweeney, Anna Karion, Kenneth J. Davis, Brian H. Stirm, Stephen A. Montzka, Ben R. Miller
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Understanding exposure from natural gas drilling puts current air standards to the test

Reviews on Environmental Health
Mar 2014
David Brown, Beth Weinberger, Celia Lewis, Heather Bonaparte
This study illustrates that current methods of collecting emissions data, as well as the analyses of these data, are not sufficient for accurately assessing risks to individuals or protecting the health of those near UNGD sites.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Oil and gas wells and their integrity: Implications for shale and unconventional resource exploitation

Marine and Petroleum Geology
Mar 2014
Richard J. Davies, Sam Almond, Robert S. Ward, Robert B. Jackson, Charlotte Adams, Fred Worrall, Liam G. Herringshaw, Jon G. Gluyas, Mark A. Whitehead
This reviews datasets from around the globe in order to provide an estimate of the number of producing, idle, abandoned and orphaned onshore hydrocarbon wells globally and to document the number of wells that are known to have had some form of well barrier and/or integrity failure.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Matrix Complications in the Determination of Radium Levels in Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water from Marcellus Shale

Environmental Technology & Letters
Mar 2014
Andrew W. Nelson, Dustin May, Andrew W. Knight, Eric S. Eitrheim, Marinea Mehrho, Robert Shannon, Robert Litman, Michael K. Schultz
This study investigates the utility of common radium analysis methods using a representative Marcellus Shale flowback water sample, and finds that the high ionic strength of flowback water may make commonly used wet analysis unreliable in determining radium content of flowback waters.
Peer Reviewed

A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States

Environmental Science & Technology
07 Mar 2014
Avner Vengosh, Robert B. Jackson, Nathaniel Warner, Thomas H. Darrah, Andrew Kondash
This paper provides a critical review of the potential risks that shale gas operations pose to water resources, with an emphasis on case studies mostly from the U.S.
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