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WVU researchers offering workshops to help countries understand unconventional gas resources

West Virginia University will provide guidance to a group of international officials seeking to develop unconventional gas resources this spring.

Researchers and students in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, the School of Public Health, the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the West Virginia Water Research Institute and Regional Research Institute will host three-to-five day workshops that help officials pursue sustainable and environmentally conscience development of their countries’ unconventional gas resources, specifically shale gas, tight gas and coal bed methane.

“We want to make sure that if these countries develop their resources, they do so in an environmentally conscientious way,” said Timothy Carr, professor and chair of the Department of Geology and Geographyand principal investigator on the project.

Shale gas is an extremely important resource, Carr said. Shale gas is cheaper to use, burns cleaner than other resources and can be found all over the world. The United States and Canada are currently the only countries that drill shale gas.

The outreach initiatives support the efforts of the International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment, a Department of State program that helps other countries develop energy systems. These programs are being developed in conjunction with the results of the Department of Energy fundedWVU Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory.