Development of the Barnett Shale may offer 'lessons'

March 10, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Drilling of the Barnett Shale has been a boon to North Texas, providing tens of thousands of jobs and pouring billions of dollars into the regional economy -- but because most of the shale’s productive parts are under urban Fort Worth, its development also has included challenges.

"Many lessons have been learned with exploration of the Barnett including how to reduce the footprint of drill sites, how to deal with truck traffic and road maintenance and how to dispose of the water used in drilling," said Ed Ireland, executive director of the non-profit Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.

Ireland will discuss both the opportunities and challenges presented in drilling the Barnett Shale in a talk, "Lessons Learned in the Barnett Shale Natural Gas Field," on Monday, March 16.

Open to the public, the talk is set for 4 p.m. in 112 Walker Building, on the University Park campus. Ireland’s presentation also will be available online at

Founded and supported by several of the energy companies operating in the Barnett Shale, the education council provides educational and outreach programs for the communities in the 21 counties of the Barnett Shale region.

Ireland, who previously headed the economics department at Clemson University, also has served as the founder and president of a natural gas marketing and pipeline company as well as president of an oil and gas exploration and production company.

Ireland’s talk is part of the 2009 EarthTalks Spring Colloquium Series on "The Marcellus Shale Play: Boon or Burden?" that is sponsored by the Penn State Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS), the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Environment and Natural Resources Institute, the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE), the EMS Energy Institute and the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute.

All talks are archived and can be viewed at

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Last Updated January 09, 2015