Title: A roadmap for lifecycle sustainability evaluation of shale gas fracking process
Authors: Israel Dunmade
Addresses: Faculty of Science & Technology, Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB, T3E 6K6, Canada
Abstract: Energy development has been undergoing rapid changes in the area of technology development and adoption in recent years. New technologies are making previously unexploitable and uneconomical fossil energy sources to become technically feasible and profitable. However, there has also been a lot of controversies surrounding the utilisation of these new energy development technologies because of environmental and health consequences of using them. One of the new technologies creating a wave of controversies is hydraulic fracking process for shale oil and shale gas. This study examines the controversies surrounding shale fracking process and what needs to be done to address these issues. The study was based on literature reviews, observations at a fracking site, and conversation with people living in the neighbourhoods of fracking activities. Results of the study revealed a need to carry out lifecycle sustainability assessment of the fracking process for each site prior to the utilisation of the technology on the site. This article outlines the framework for lifecycle sustainability evaluation of shale gas fracking process for a site. It also identifies the problem of data gap and how the process could be made more sustainable. This would provide a decision support for sustainable exploitation of shale gas from any given site.
Keywords: energy development; energy technologies; fracking process; hydraulic fracking; shale oil; shale gas.
International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2017 Vol.40 No.3/4, pp.129 - 140
Accepted: 07 Nov 2016
Published online: 14 Sep 2017 *