Dr. John Deutch

Challenges and Opportunities of Unconventional Oil and Gas Production

OCTOBER 30, 2013

Lecture Summary: A Rock and a Hard Place: Stevens Institute of Technology Lecture Examines U.S. Revolution in Unconventional Oil and Gas Production→

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ABSTRACT: A recent surge in North American unconventional oil and gas reserves and production has reduced U.S. dependency on imported oil, reduced prices for the consumer, created jobs, and expanded the natural gas market. As other nations across the world also tap into their unconventional resources, the diversity of supply will change the character of global oil and gas markets and shift power from producers to consumers – good news for the U.S. in geopolitical, economic and energy terms. However, adverse environmental impacts of hydraulic fracture – the modern technique to produce these unconventional resources – threaten the growth of this industry. Hydraulic fracture requires large amounts of water to be injected at great depths to break rock and release gas and fluid. It has generated significant public opposition given its impact on air quality, water quality and seismicity. This talk will examine policy measures to minimize the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracture, exploring the role of public regulatory agencies, industry, and university research and education.

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. John Deutch, institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1970, and has served as provost, dean of science, and chairman of the department of chemistry. Deutch has held significant government and academic posts throughout his career, including serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1995 to 1996, deputy secretary of defense from 1994 to 1995, and undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology from 1993 to 1994. From 1977 to 1980, he served as director of energy research, acting assistant secretary for energy technology, and undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Energy. Deutch served on many presidential commissions focused on nuclear safety, strategic forces, science and technology, intelligence, aviation safety, government secrecy and weapons of mass destruction during several presidential administrations. He has published more than 160 technical publications on physical chemistry, technology, energy, international security and public policy issues, and has received numerous prestigious fellowships, honors, service medals and honorary degrees.

Dr. Deutch's lecture was made possible in part through a gift from Stevens alumnus, Dr. William W. Destler, '68, President, Rochester Institute of Technology.