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A Study of Shale Gas Production and Its Supply Chain

Yang, Yuwen (2016) A Study of Shale Gas Production and Its Supply Chain. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Over the last few years, shale gas has become one of the most important energy sources in the United States, and advances in related technologies have led to an unprecedented economic boom in several parts of the country. On the other hand, the shale gas sector and its unique extraction technologies are still relatively young, and there are a number of concerns from the public about several aspects of the shale gas industry such as hydraulic fracturing, methane emission and waste management. The objective of this thesis is to present a comprehensive and objective study of shale gas and its entire supply chain, including the various material flows within it, in order to motivate safety, cost-savings and operational efficiency improvement.
The study begins with an introduction to the basic background of the petroleum, natural gas and shale gas industry and goes on to describe the process of shale gas production and map its supply chain, starting with initial exploration to identify a potential drilling location and ending with the delivery of the natural gas to end-use customers. We present detailed flow of various materials and when possible, costs in the shale gas supply chain as a first step toward planning for its efficient operation. We also span a wide range of topics including environmental effects and safety, public health implications of unconventional gas extraction, the upgraded equipment and techniques to reduce environmental pollution, the use pattern of shale gas, fluctuations in its price, and its implications on sustainable energy. We end with a detailed case study of distributed power generation from Marcellus shale, and discuss how natural gas can play a key role in bridging the gap between coal/petroleum based energy and renewable energy. As a more reliable and cheaper alternative to renewable energy today, and as a more environmentally friendly alternative to other fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum, shale gas has the potential to be a solution to the energy gap in the near future.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yang, Yuwenyuy49@pitt.eduYUY490000-0002-7365-3403
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRajgopal, Jayantrajgopal@pitt.eduRAJGOPAL
Committee MemberBidanda, Bopayabidanda@pitt.eduBIDANDA
Committee MemberHefley, William E.William.Hefley@utdallas.eduWEHEFLEY
Date: 15 September 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 June 2016
Approval Date: 15 September 2016
Submission Date: 5 July 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 138
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shale Gas, Natural Gas, Supply Chain, Hydraulic Fracturing
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2016 20:03
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:34


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