CER Reports


      


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Flowback and Produced Waters: Opportunities and Challenges for Innovation - Proceedings of a Workshop (2017)

Produced water—water from underground formations that is brought to the surface during oil and gas production—is the greatest volume byproduct associated with oil and gas production. It is managed by some combination of underground injection, treatment and subsequent use, treatment and discharge, or evaporation, subject to compliance with state and federal regulations. Management of these waters is challenging not only for industry and regulators, but also for landowners and the public because of differences in the quality and quantity of produced water, varying infrastructure needs, costs, and environmental considerations associated with produced water disposal, storage, and transport.

 


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Development of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in the Application Basin: Workshop Summary (2014)

Development of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in the Appalachian Basin is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council to examine the geology and unconventional hydrocarbon resources of the Appalachian Basin; technical methods for producing unconventional hydrocarbons and disposing of wastewater; the potential effects of production on the environment; relevant policies and regulations; and priorities for future scientific and engineering research. Workshop presentations by experts in the fields of geosciences and engineering examined the numerous geoscientific aspects of hydrocarbon development from unconventional resources, including natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids.

 


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Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries: A Call to Action (2013)

Energy and mineral resources are essential for the nation's fundamental functions, its economy, and security. Nonfuel minerals are essential for the existence and operations of products that are used by people every day and are provided by various sectors of the mining industry. Energy in the United States is provided from a variety of resources including fossil fuels, and renewable and nuclear energy, all with established commercial industry bases. The United States is the largest electric power producer in the world. The overall value added to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 by major industries that consumed processed nonfuel mineral materials was $2.2 trillion.

 


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  Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies(2012)

In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention.

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  Uranium Mining in Virginia (2011)

Uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia has been prohibited since 1982 by a state moratorium, although approval for restricted uranium exploration in the state was granted in 2007. Uranium Mining in Virginia examines the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling, and processing as they relate to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of assisting the Commonwealth to determine whether uranium mining, milling, and processing can be undertaken in a manner that safeguards the environment, natural and historic resources, agricultural lands, and the health and well-being of its citizens. According to this report, if Virginia lifts its moratorium, there are "steep hurdles to be surmounted" before mining and processing could take place within a regulatory setting that appropriately protects workers, the public, and the environment, especially given that the state has no experience regulating mining and processing of the radioactive element. The authoring committee was not asked to recommend whether uranium mining should be permitted, or to consider the potential benefits to the state were uranium mining to be pursued. It also was not asked to compare the relative risks of uranium mining to the mining of other fuels such as coal. This book will be of interest to decision makers at the state and local level, the energy industry, and concerned citizens.



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  Management and Effects of Coalbed Methane Produced Water in the Western United States (2010)

In some coalbeds, naturally occurring water pressure holds methane--the main component of natural gas--fixed to coal surfaces and within the coal. In a coalbed methane (CBM) well, pumping water from the coalbeds lowers this pressure, facilitating the release of methane from the coal for extraction and use as an energy source. Water pumped from coalbeds during this process--CBM 'produced water'--is managed through some combination of treatment, disposal, storage, or use, subject to compliance with federal and state regulations.

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  Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States (2010)

Natural gas, composed mostly of methane, is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels, emitting 25-50% less carbon dioxide than either oil or coal for each unit of energy produced. In recent years, natural gas supplied approximately 20-25% of all energy consumed in the United States. Methane hydrate is a potentially enormous and as yet untapped source of methane. The Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate Research and Development Program has been tasked since 2000 to implement and coordinate a national methane hydrate research effort to stimulate the development of knowledge and technology necessary for commercial production of methane from methane hydrate in a safe and environmentally responsible way.

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  Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy (2008)

Minerals are part of virtually every product we use. Common examples include copper used in electrical wiring and titanium used to make airplane frames and paint pigments. The Information Age has ushered in a number of new mineral uses in a number of products including cell phones (e.g., tantalum) and liquid crystal displays (e.g., indium). For some minerals, such as the platinum group metals used to make cataytic converters in cars, there is no substitute. If the supply of any given mineral were to become restricted, consumers and sectors of the U.S. economy could be significantly affected. Risks to minerals supplies can include a sudden increase in demand or the possibility that natural ores can be exhausted or become too difficult to extract. Minerals are more vulnerable to supply restrictions if they come from a limited number of mines, mining companies, or nations. Baseline information on minerals is currently collected at the federal level, but no established methodology has existed to identify potentially critical minerals. This book develops such a methodology and suggests an enhanced federal initiative to collect and analyze the additional data needed to support this type of tool.



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  Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy (2007)

Coal will continue to provide a major portion of energy requirements in the United States for at least the next several decades. It is imperative that accurate information describing the amount, location, and quality of the coal resources and reserves be available to fulfill energy needs. It is also important that the United States extract its coal resources efficiently, safely, and in an environmentally responsible manner. A renewed focus on federal support for coal-related research, coordinated across agencies and with the active participation of the states and industrial sector, is a critical element for each of these requirements.