Geophysicist and shale gas expert Mark Zoback speaks to the science of hydro-fracking to free shale gas. He addresses many misconceptions he feels the public weigh too heavily and offers his view on the crucial role natural gas plays as a bridge to renewable energy. Mark also looks to some critiques of the nuclear energy sector (including Fukushima) and finds intriguing parallels to the shale gas revolution.
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Dr. Zoback’s principal research interests are in the fields of crustal stress and geomechanics. He works on these problems at a variety of scales and in different geologic settings. He was one of the principal investigators of the SAFOD project (San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth) investigating the physics of faulting and has been involved in projects studying active faulting in Taiwan and in the deep mines of South Africa. He also works on regional tectonic problems in various parts of the world. His lab pursues a number of research projects in reservoir geomechanics, especially in regard to production from shale and tight gas reservoirs. He has also extended his interest in geomechanics to research on environmental problems such as the geologic sequestration of CO2 and coastal subsidence in Lousiana. His book, Reservoir Geomechanics, was published by Cambridge University Press and is now in its fifth printing. The book integrates the fields of structural geology, rock mechanics and petroleum engineering with application to problems in the oil and gas industry.
For biographical information on Mike Osborne, click here.