1 – What is unconventional gas exploration and extraction?

– You can join in the discussion, please leave a comment below –

Proposed:  “In the context of the proposed research outlined in this document, Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE) refers to the use of high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of previously impermeable rock to permit the extraction of natural gas on a commercial scale from unconventional sources such as shale gas deposits, coal seams and tight sandstones.”  (Paragraph 1)
First reaction
This description of UGEE is far too narrow.  It limits the research to hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which is only a stage in the Exploration and Extraction of shale gas.
To be truly comprehensive, the study of UGEE must focus on two phases of operation:
1. Exploration, which involves few sites and a limited number of wells which are fracked.
2. Commercial Development.   In Leitrim (based on Tamboran scenario): Hundreds of acres mined, 60 x 7-acre mining sites (pads), one per square mile, 1,500 wells which could each be fracked many times, Compressor stations, pipeline network.
Stages in the Life Cycle of Unconventional Gas Extraction (both phases)
1. Land acquisition
2. Building of mining sites (pads)
3. Deep drilling and disposal of drilling waste
4. Hydraulic fracturing with large volumes of water, chemicals and sand
5. Flowback and Wastewater disposal
6. Well completion
7. Gas compression and transport
8. Reclamation of land
Possible discussion points
  1. To revise the description of UGEE to include all of the stages above.
  2. To include both phases (Exploration and Commercial Development) and all of the stages above in the scope of the Terms of Reference.


  1. I agree. The proposed terms of reference are too narrow and clearly do not take into account the exploration stage. In order to provide a comprehensive assessment of all the risks involved in this type of unconventional gas development, the study needs to cover the entire life cycle, not only the stage of hydraulic fracturing.

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