Now you can see how Marcellus shale gas wells are developed, along with the fracking process – from the comfort of our computer chair. You've seen all that equipment running up and down the roads.
Now you can learn what all that equipment is used for in an online presentation from Penn State Extension. Titled "An Illustrated Guide to Shale Gas Drilling Equipment and Practices in Pennsylvania", it's a self-running presentation for learning more about shale-gas development in the Marcellus shale formation and others in the Mid-Atlantic region.
You'll explore the equipment and methods used in seismic testing, site preparation, well drilling, hydraulic fracturing (or 'fracking') , water storage, spill containment, pipeline construction and gas compression. It also shows materials used to protect wetlands and how well sites are restored once wells are producing gas.
A need for understanding
"People have strong feelings either for or against shale-gas development," notes Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "We don't take sides, but instead try to show how and why the landscape is developed in the way that it is, including the equipment and infrastructure you might see.
"Public policies for natural-resource protection will be improved if the affected parties are well informed and take advantage of opportunities to participate in decisions," she adds. "We hope this presentation will contribute to that process."
The presentation includes a narrated script and accompanying photos. It's simple to use and runs automatically on the Internet. It's based on work supported in part by The Heinz Endowments. To watch it, click on Guide_to_shale_gas_drilling.