Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hydraulic fracturing: Helping businesses predict national fracking policy

Date:
August 14, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Hydraulic fracturing is emerging as one of the primary methods of drilling for natural gas, yet is equally controversial in its potential to induce harm to humans and the environment. The uncertainties of the health risks associated with horizontal drilling using fluid pressure to break down shale formations for natural gas extraction has pushed countries worldwide to proactively regulate the use of this technology. A new study can help companies in their decisions about whether or not to drill in a given country.

Hydraulic fracturing is emerging as one of the primary methods of drilling for natural gas, yet is equally controversial in its potential to induce harm to humans and the environment. The uncertainties of the health risks associated with horizontal drilling using fluid pressure to break down shale formations for natural gas extraction has pushed countries worldwide to proactively regulate the use of this technology, such as a temporary ban in Germany in 2012 and a ban in France in 2011. Where such decisions are hedged on a variety of metrics ranging from social resistance to the technology to potential economic benefits to concerns for environmental health, it is difficult to predict how a country may move to regulate this technology without a formal tool to review all decision criteria and policy alternatives. For companies seeking to engage in hydraulic fracturing activities, understanding how a country will regulate its domestic drilling industry is a crucial element for the company to decide whether to invest the time, money, and manpower necessary to begin the complex shale drilling operations.

Related Articles


In an article in Environmental Sciences Europe, Igor Linkov of the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Concord, MA and colleagues discuss the importance of predicting how countries move to regulate their domestic hydraulic fracturing industries in the midst of uncertain risks and benefits. Specifically, they present a formal model of multi-criteria decision analysis to demonstrate how companies and other organizations can assess various sources of qualitative and subjective information on hydraulic fracturing to estimate how a given country will ultimately decide to regulate such drilling processes within their borders.

Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a method for decision structuring that permits the use of both quantitative and qualitative data sources with high uncertainty or subjectivity. It improves upon unstandardized, ad hoc decision making by formally modeling the decision process at hand, and includes the various decision criteria and policy alternatives that may be chosen by the decision maker. Ultimately, MCDA helps aggregate the impact of various unrelated inputs into a ranked list of quantitative results in a transparent process.

The importance of being able to predict future action by governments centers on the significant investment required by hydraulic fracturing companies in order to make drill sites economically viable. As such, these companies are intrinsically required to make an assessment of whether or not to drill within a given country before they have potentially passed a final regulatory assessment of such drilling behavior. If companies find themselves stuck within those countries that limit or ban future fracking activity, the companies would suffer substantial potential losses in projected economic income and various elements of immobile infrastructure at drill sites.

Using fictional data with archetypal countries, we demonstrate how multi-criteria decision analysis can fill the predictive gap for such companies' and organizations' needs. This decision analytic framework can account for various social, economic, environmental, and political factors that influence each nation's decision making, and use them to assess the various types of policy alternatives that could potentially be adopted. Such a tool is versatile and can include a variety of other inputs and information on an individual country basis, and ultimately serves as a formal and transparent method to predict where they fall on fracking's regulatory scale.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Igor Linkov, Benjamin Trump, David Jin, Marcin Mazurczak, Miranda Schreurs. A decision-analytic approach to predict state regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Environmental Sciences Europe, 2014; 26 (1): 20 DOI: 10.1186/s12302-014-0020-7

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Hydraulic fracturing: Helping businesses predict national fracking policy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814123848.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, August 14). Hydraulic fracturing: Helping businesses predict national fracking policy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814123848.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Hydraulic fracturing: Helping businesses predict national fracking policy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814123848.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

You Won't Be Driving Tesla's Mystery Product

You Won't Be Driving Tesla's Mystery Product

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a new product line will debut April 30, but it&apos;s not a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

Solar Impulse Departs Myanmar for China

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Myanmar&apos;s second biggest city of Mandalay and heads for China&apos;s Chongqing, the fifth flight of a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colombian Project Transforms Old Tires Into Green Housing

Colombian Project Transforms Old Tires Into Green Housing

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) — To put a roof over their heads and help the environment, residents near Bogota are building houses out of recycled bottles and old tires. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins