Past Webinar

The Shale Gas and Oil Wastewater Disposal Cycle: Managing Earthquake and Other Environmental Risks

Oct 18, 2016

About the Event

This is the second event in a joint RFF/Stanford Woods Institute/Stanford Natural Gas Initiative webinar series on New Research on the Science and Economics of Natural Gas.

The expanded use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas development has revolutionized production—but the technique also requires significantly more water than conventional methods. While companies have worked to reduce freshwater consumption and increase water recycling in their operations, wastewater must be disposed of at a certain point. Questions remain about the most efficient and effective ways to store and dispose of this wastewater, taking into account the potential environmental risks.

At this webinar, experts at RFF and Stanford University addressed some of these questions. RFF’s Yusuke Kuwayama reviewed the risks associated with shale gas and oil wastewater storage, the unknowns regarding these risks, and policy and technology options for addressing the risks. RFF’s Alan Krupnick described a new framework that could be used for making decisions about water and wastewater management options and infrastructure investments, while considering environmental impacts. Finally, Stanford’s Mark Zobackfocused on wastewater disposal via underground injection, discussing the aspects of shale gas and oil development that cause earthquakes and explaining the science behind recent earthquakes in Oklahoma.



  • Alan J. Krupnick, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Yusuke Kuwayama, Fellow and VALUABLES Consortium Director for Socioeconomic Studies, Resources for the Future
  • Mark Zoback, Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics and Director of the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative, Stanford University