Wednesday AM April 21st, 2010

The Gas Shales Summit will be held in Houston this year, after having been staged in Fort Worth for the past eight years. Ed Mayberry reports.

Previous gas shale summits were in the Fort Worth area because of its proximity to the Barnett Shale.  Summit Chairman Peter Duncan says it's significant that the summit is moving to Houston.

"But our market has grown, and this year we are particularly focusing on the issue of frac'ing and the environment.  We're all going to get together and spend two days airing the very real concerns and talking about how those concerns are being addressed.  Given that the shales have expanded way beyond the Barnett in North Texas now, we felt it appropriate to move to the oil and gas capital of the U.S.—Houston—and allow the entire community here to participate in this forum."

The technology has made it possible to retrieve natural gas from sources that could produce for 120 years.

"But only with the last ten years or so, largely driven by the Barnett Shale up in the Fort Worth basin, have we developed the technology where we start to extract these hydrocarbons from these very, very low-permeability rocks.  These rocks are so tight that the only thing less permeable is the steel pipe that's going down the hole.  So how do we get the gas out of these shales?  We have to fracture them, like you would fracture a windshield, such that we create the conduits for the gas to travel back to the well-bore."

Duncan says gas shales are economically feasible, as long as gas prices remain at current levels.  The summit is set to begin on June 2nd.  For more information, view www.insightinfo.com/gasshales.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...