WVU helps countries better understand responsible development, management and impact of unconventional gas resources

Written by WVU News on . Posted in Media, News

Recognizing the depth and breadth of its knowledge about unconventional natural gas resources, the United States Department of State has called on West Virginia University to share that expertise with the world.

With increasing interest in natural gas development both in the U.S. and worldwide, the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources has reached a cooperative agreement with WVU to create the International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment, or INFUSE, a unique technical program dedicated to increasing other countries’ understanding of best practices for unconventional gas resource development through a mix of classroom and in the field activities.

Housed within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and in collaboration with the WVU Energy Institute, INFUSE uses scientific, technical, policy and environmental lessons that the University has learned through its decades of research to inform international delegations on how proper development and management can reduce environmental risks and lead to sustainable resource development.

“The INFUSE program demonstrates WVU’s leadership and expertise on this critical, global energy topic,” says Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute. “We have seen the widespread development of unconventional oil and gas production completely change the energy landscape of the United States and seen the best industry practices evolve over the past decade.

“WVU researchers have continually been on the forefront of developing these technologies and policy innovations; thus, we are uniquely positioned to educate others in the issues and best practices in unconventional hydrocarbon development,” Anderson said.

The program draws upon additional WVU expertise from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, the College of Law, School of Public Health, Regional Research Institute and the West Virginia Water Research Institute. Topics include policies, data, environment, safety, health, water usage, emissions, outreach and engagement with communities, workforce development, risks and rewards, policies and more. To date, four countries have participated (Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, Lithuania). Additional countries will be visiting WVU beginning this fall.

WVU researchers from multiple areas of study have been examining all aspects of shale gas development since production began a decade ago. The most recent interdisciplinary project was the formation of the nation’s first integrated research initiative on shale gas drilling, completion and production.

The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory, known as MSEEL, is a partnership with The Ohio State University, Northeast Natural Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Scientists, engineers, ecologists, public health professionals, social scientists and more from eight units across the University, in addition to partnering organizations, are collecting data in real time from a science well and two production wells, as well as the surrounding site, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire life cycle – from drilling to completion to production.

Tim Carr, professor in the department of geology and geography and principal investigator of MSEEL, is an enthusiastic proponent of INFUSE. “MSEEL and other WVU research efforts on unconventional resources in the Appalachian basin and around the world provides a solid foundation for the short courses, site visits, and briefings that comprise our global outreach efforts.”

-WVU-

ms/07/28/16

CONTACT: Brian Anderson, WVU Energy Institute
304.293.6631, Brian.Anderson@mail.wvu.edu
or
Tim Carr, Department of Geology and Geography
304.293.9660, tim.carr@mail.wvu.edu

New oil and gas workshop presents “the best of” environmental research on hydraulic fracturing; WVWRI Director to present on experimental well site lab near Morgantown

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Media, News

A new oil and gas workshop entitled “Appalachian Basin Technology” will present updates of environmental research on hydraulic fracturing, which includes three experimental well site laboratories by West Virginia University (WVU), Ohio State University and others.

The workshop will take place on Wed., July 20, at the Hilton Garden Inn/Southpoint, Canonsburg, Pa., south of Pittsburgh. WVU’s Petroleum Technology Transfer Council’s Appalachian Region (PTTC) and the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for American (RPSEA) are sponsoring the event.

The three hydraulic fracturing well site experiments received major funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory and industry to improve the technology and reduce the environmental footprint of these wells.

Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the WVU Water Research Institute, will give an environmental research update on the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL) near Morgantown, WV. Zachary Arnold, general manager – Operations, Northeast Natural Energy, will give an operations update for the same drill site.

Dr. Jeff Daniels, director, Utica Shale Energy and Environmental Lab, Ohio State University, will present environmental research on the Utica Shale Hydraulic Fracturing Field Test (USEEL).

The third experiment was conducted in the West Texas Permian basin resulting in lessons learned that can be applied to all fracturing operations, including those in the Appalachian basin. Jordan Ciezobka, Gas Technology Institute, will present.

Registration is $50. For individuals needing professional development hours, certificates will be provided. Agenda and registration at www.rpsea.org/events/515.

What’s In Your Water Part 3: Is Lead a Community Concern?

Written by Austin Pollack, WDTV on . Posted in Media, News

For the past few weeks, we’ve been warning you of the dangers of lead in water, and how older plumbing creates a higher risk of contamination.

Even though this is something utility workers are aware of, could it still come up in our area? 5 News spoke with many officials about this. They say there’s still that urge to check for lead pipes in your home, especially if they’re old. This is something water officials take very seriously, and they’re constantly checking their equipment to eliminate any potential risks.

With more attention focused on the contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, that could have some wondering, could it happen in North Central West Virginia? 5 News spoke with a water expert from WVU, who said this is something officials in Morgantown took care of a while back.

“A lot of the old service lines were lead,” said Paul Ziemkiewicz, the Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute. “That was one of the big problems in Flint, Michigan. I’ve talked to folks at Morgantown Utility Board, for instance, and they replaced their last lead service line, in 1986 I think.”

We’ve also told you about how important it is to be proactive about the situation in order to prevent some of the symptoms associated with lead poisoning. Some of those symptoms include:

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WRI Graduate Assistant is Recipient of New Rockefeller Scholarship

Written by WVU News on . Posted in Media, News

West Virginia University students studying within the new John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics now have the opportunity to earn a scholarship also bearing the former U.S. Senator’s name.

A $100,000 gift from Rockefeller to the WVU Foundation has created the John D. Rockefeller IV Leadership Award in Policy & Politics. Former Senator Jay Rockefeller endowed this scholarship in the hope that it would enable our best and brightest students to experience meaningful public service or research that would also help us collectively address some of our biggest policy questions or community challenges.

“My sincere hope is that this scholarship will allow star students to take an important step on their journeys to better understand how they can change their world today and into the future,” said Rockefeller.

The first recipient of this new scholarship is Michelle Sloane of Paramus, New Jersey, a student in the Master of Public Administration program. As a graduate student, Sloane has been involved in several public service projects, including developing community capacity in Fairmont, West Virginia and exploring budget frameworks for the WVU Extension Fire Service. She serves in a leadership role in the WVU Student Association of Public Administrators and volunteers with the West Virginia Botanical Gardens. Michelle also works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

“The Rockefeller Scholarship is the embodiment of the WVU land grant vision of enhancing the vitality and well-being of the people of West Virginia,” Maja Holmes, associate professor of public administration, said. “Michelle’s service-learning project represents the commitment of WVU students to make this vision a reality,” Holmes said.

Terms of the scholarship agreement call for recipients of the award to be undergraduate students who are participating in off-campus service learning opportunities related to policy, leadership, or public services in areas related to challenges facing the state of West Virginia. Second preference would be for graduate students doing direct public service, with the proper temperament, approach, and understanding of the culture and needs of the community in areas related to the challenges facing the state.

Sloane will be working to advance the creation of the Fairmont Black History Museum. The project will address the challenge of giving voice to an underrepresented part of the community, promote understanding of cultural diversity in West Virginia, and offer education and outreach opportunities to members of the greater Fairmont community.

“I am passionate about helping people access information and resources,” Sloane said. “I have worked with Fairmont in different capacities and look forward to the opportunity to delve deeper and help this particular community showcase one of its strongest assets – its rich cultural history.”

Recipients of the award will be required to prepare a report of their experience, which will be included in the John D. Rockefeller IV archives located in the WVU Libraries.

In November 2014, Rockefeller and WVU announced the naming of the John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics at WVU within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to the announcement, Rockefeller and WVU designated the WVU Libraries as the permanent home of the John D. Rockefeller IV Senatorial Archives and dedicated the John D. Rockefeller IV Gallery in the WVU Downtown Library in honor of the Democratic senator’s nearly 50 years of public service to the citizens of West Virginia. For more on the naming and library archives, see earlier news release.

The Rockefeller gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort on behalf of WVU runs through December 2017.