Maurice B. Dusseault
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 2T6, CANADA
Shale gas development involves aggressive hydraulic fracturing of a naturally fractured rock mass to generate an interconnected open fracture network with a large internal surface area for gas drainage. Conventional hydraulic fracture design software cannot cope adequately with fracture propagation in naturally fractured rock, and it is not clear what form a better design software environment will take, but activity in a number of directions is taking place. Several preliminary options are discussed herein, along with a review of shale gas occurrence and the geomechanical aspects of its development.