Objectives

Objectives

The main ambitions of FracRisk are to form a knowledge base and formulate scientific recommendations which will contribute to efforts aimed at minimising the environmental footprint of shale gas extraction

The objectives of FracRisk are to develop a knowledge base for understanding, preventing and mitigating the potential impact of the exploration and exploitation through hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of significant shale gas reserves found throughout Europe, and to develop a decision support tool for risk quantification of the environmental impacts of the technology.  In order to achieve our main objectives, we have developed a research program focused around the following activities:

  1. Assessment of the environmental impact (footprint) expressed in seismic activities and released substances in the environment involved in the exploration and production of shale gas resources based on the understanding of the geophysical, subsurface flow and transport processes involved, available geological, hydrogeological and geophysical data and appropriate source term and boundary conditions;
  2. Forward modelling with mathematical models to predict the effect of migration of chemicals and gases, and the mechanical effects (seismics), together with risk and uncertainty assessment based on six focused exemplary scenarios (before, during and after fracking operations) to direct cost effective data gathering;
  3. Develop and test a framework for risk assessment to be used both by regulators and contractors, based on the well-known ASTM RBCA (Risk Based Corrective Action) paradigm.
  4. Development of criteria for appropriate monitoring strategies to measure baseline conditions, as a pre-warning system and to validate mathematical models and concepts;
  5. Provision of scientific recommendations and a knowledge base for best practices for shale gas development and with direct application and relevance to the provision of consistent regulation.