Unconventional Shale Development

I am researching numerous aspects of unconventional shale development. My work in this area is supported by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canadian Water Network, the Smeal College of Business Sustainability Council, and the Killam Research Fund, as well as the HE Pearson Faculty Fellowship (2013-2014) and the Southam Faculty Fellowship (2014-2015) from the Alberta School of Business. I also have benefited from the research assistance of students recruited and supported through the University of Alberta Research Experience and Science Without Borders Brazil.

Unconventional Well Facility Siting. With Dror Etzion (McGill University), I am studying the influence of community-level attributes on unconventional well facility siting decisions in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Formation. We presented preliminary findings at the Inequality, Institutions and Organizations Conference, Simon Fraser University, June 7, 2013. More recent versions of this project were presented at the University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology (REES), March 20, 2014; the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) Conference, Cornell University, May 8, 2014, where our paper received the People’s Choice Award; and the Group on Organizations and the Natural Environment (GRONEN) Conference, Aalto University, Helsinki, June 14-16, 2014. Upcoming presentations include the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, August 1-5, 2014; and Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, University of Alberta – Augustana Campus, October 2, 2014. Past or present research assistants include: Diego Mastroianni, Bijon Brown, Nicholas Nairn-Birch, Angela Grant, Christopher Lee, Jessica Tran, Chloe Prosser.

Related publications:

Gehman, J., Mastroianni, D., Grant, A. & Etzion, D. 2012. An Analysis of Unconventional Gas Well Reporting under Pennsylvania’s Act 13 of 2012. Environmental Practice. 14(4): 262-277.

WellWiki.org. As a spinoff to the Unconventional Well Facility Siting project, we launched WellWiki.org, a website that provides data, news and history on 150,000 oil and gas wells and counting. By September 2014, the site will include more than 600,000 wells. Future funding will allow us to include each of the approximately 4 million oil and gas wells drilled in North America since the Drake well in 1859. Past or present research assistants include: Michael Hall, Chloe Prosser, Joshua Nguyen, Kailun Hong, Victor Covalski Junes, Wladimir de Araújo Neto.

Hydraulic Fracturing Patents. With Dan CahoyZhen Lei and Siavash Varasteh (all from Pennsylvania State University), I am studying the effects of public concerns on hydraulic fracturing patenting. We presented our theoretical arguments at the Colloquium on the Changing Face of American Patent Law and Its Impact on Business Strategy, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, May 18, 2012. Currently we are investigating our theory in a large-scale longitudinal study. Preliminary results of this latter work were presented at the Workshop on Sustainability Research: A Business Perspective, Pennsylvania State University, November 6, 2013; and at the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, April 10, 2014. Upcoming presentations include the Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, University of California, Berkeley, August 7-8, 2014.

Related publications:

Cahoy, D., Gehman, J. & Lei, Z. 2013. Fracking Patents: The Emergence of Patents as Information Containment Tools in Shale Drilling. Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review. 19(2): 279-330.

Cahoy, D., Gehman, J. & Lei, Z. 2013. The Transformation of Patents into Information Containment Tools. In D. Cahoy & L. Oswald (eds), The Changing Face of American Patent Law and Its Impact on Business Strategy. Edward Elgar. 159-182.

Wastewater Handling, Treatment and Disposal. With Greg Goss and Daniel Alessi (both of the University of Alberta) and Diana Allen (Simon Fraser University), I am conducting a review of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water related operator practices, regulatory requirements and public concerns in the Barnett, Marcellus, Montney and Duvernay Formations. Our findings will be published in March 2015 as part of the Canadian Water Network’s Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative. I presented an overview of CWN’s hydraulic fracturing research initiative and our research project at Hydraulic Fracturing: An Environmental Perspective, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, Calgary, May 29, 2014. Research assistants include: Yvette Thompson, Kailun Hong.

Energy and Environment Risk Perspectives. With Michael Lounsbury and Chang Lu (both of the University of Alberta) and Lianne Lefsrud (University of Michigan) I am conducting research on energy and environment risk perspectives. We have several manuscripts under development including a multidisciplinary literature review and a theory paper. Additionally, I will be making a presentation that draws on insights from this project at the AAPG-CSPG Oil Sands and Heavy Oil Symposium: A Local to Global Multidisciplinary Collaboration, Calgary, October 14-16, 2014.

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