NEWS - March 2013 - AGWT AIPG Host Shale Gas Conference in Austin, TX


Lisa Molofsky is an environmental geologist with the firm GSI Environmental in Houston, TX who specializes in chemistry and stable and radiogenic isotopes. Lisa’s presentation  explained how detailed geochemical data is able to identify the origin of methane found in water wells.

Methane occurs naturally in 30% of ALL water wells in the US and was present in groundwater in many of the areas of recent shale-gas development long before any drilling took place.


Sharon Wilson, Earthworks Action, Allen, TX, a leading citizen expert in the Barnett Shale and Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas from Austin, TX both spoke about environmental issues and citizen concerns at the shale-gas conference.  The photograph shows them at “question-time” where they emphasized their views about the depth and breadth of citizen concerns and their opposition to the way many energy development operations were being conducted in Texas.  Earthworks Action is a national environmental organization.  Environment Texas is a citizen-funded organization that advocates for clean air, clean water and open spaces.

Steve Leifer, who worked for the US EPA for eleven years, is now an attorney with the firm Baker Botts LLP, Washington, DC .  He spoke at the Austin Conference about the many legal and litigation issues that have arisen related to the nation-wide development of shale-gas.  His presentation “ Hydraulic fracturing: Separating myth from reality” provided a summary of a broad range of legal case studies. He emphasized that the actual process of hydraulic fracturing has not been demonstrated in any legal settlement to have caused contamination problems.


Dr. Stephen Holditch, Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M University was the closing keynote speaker at the Shale-Gas and Water Issues Conference held in Austin, TX.  His presentation emphasized the importance of  shale-gas operations following best practices.  Dr Holditch is recognized internationally as a leading expert on oil and gas drilling technology.