What’s Happening With Shale Development in Texas?

Discussion at UH Will Consider Environmental, Economic and Seismic Impacts

Lingering low oil prices slowed the madcap rush to drill in oil-rich shale fields in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere, but activity is beginning to resume, with the rig count rising and producers putting more-expensive offshore projects on hold in order to focus on shale.

Exactly what that means for the Texas economy, environment and infrastructure is still unclear. Now, a high-level task force convened by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) is undertaking a first-of-its-kind review of scientific research to better understand the impacts of shale oil and gas development in Texas. The group is focusing on six areas: seismicity, land resources, water, air, transportation and community impacts.

Members of the task force will meet at the University of Houston for a discussion on shale development, part of the UH Energy symposium series on critical issues in energy. TAMEST Shale Task Force Chair Christine Ehlig-Economides, professor of petroleum engineering at UH, will serve as moderator.

Speakers include David T. Allen, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin; John Barton, professor of civil engineering at Texas A&M University; Brian W. Stump, professor of earth sciences at Southern Methodist University; Melinda E. Taylor, executive director of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center for Energy, Law and Business at UT-Austin School of Law; Gene Theodori, professor of sociology at Sam Houston State University, and Michael H. Young, senior research scientist and associate director for the environment division of the UT-Austin Bureau of Economic Geology.

Task force members will be available for interviews before and after the discussion. A background video is available online.


WHAT:                           Shale Development in Texas: Six Degrees of Consideration, panel discussion on the

                                         land, air, water, seismicity, transportation and socioeconomic impacts of shale drilling.

                                         Sponsored by UH Energy and featuring members of a task force formed by The Academy

                                         of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) to study the issue.


WHEN:                           5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29.  


WHERE:                         Houston Room, UH Student Center South, 4455 University Drive. Parking across the

                                         street in the Welcome Center garage. Register here.


MEDIA CONTACTS:      Jeannie Kever, 713-743-0778, m – 713-504-3769, jekever@uh.edu

                                         Terrence Henry, 512-471-9121, m – 512-902-6501, thenry@austin.utexas.edu


Photo credit: Kurt Nordstrom Flickr (CC BY 2.0