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Glossary of Terms

Annulus- A void between piping, tubing or casing and the piping, tubing or casing surrounding it.

Aquifer- An underground layer of water-bearing rock or gravel, sand or silt.

Borehole- A generalized term for a shaft bored into the ground.

CAS- Chemical Abstracts Service

Casing- A large pipe that is inserted into a recently drilled borehole, typically held into place with cement.

Conductor Casing- Prevents collapse of the loose soil near the surface of a borehole.

Corrosion Inhibitor- A chemical compound that decreases the corrosion rate of a metal or an alloy.

Darcy’s Law- An equation that describes the flow of liquid through a porous medium.

DOE- Department of Energy

Drilling mud- A fluid used to aid the drilling of boreholes.

Drilling Rig- The machine that creates the holes in the ground. These are typically large standing structures. Sometimes referred to as the “Christmas trees” when lit up at night.

EPA- Environmental Protection Agency.

EPCRA- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Frac Tank- This is where the water or the proppant is held while a well is being fractured.

Fracking or Fracturing- The process of using high pressured fluid containing water, sand and chemicals into sub-surface rock formations. The fluid fractures the rocks, improving the flow of natural gas into the well bore.

Friction Reducer- An additive that reduced the friction of a fluid as it flows through small spaces.

Groundwater- Water located beneath the surface of the earth.

GWPC- Ground Water Protection Counsel

Hydrology- The study of water.

Intermediate Casing- Used on longer drilling intervals. Set after the surface casing and before the production casing. Prevents caving of weak or abnormally pressured formations.

IOGCC- Interstate Oil and Gas Commission

Marcellus Shale- A rock formation that extends from the base of the Catskills in New York and extends southwest to West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

MSDS- Material Safety Data Sheets

Natural Gas- Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting of methane and other hydrocarbons. It’s used as an energy source to heat buildings, generate electricity and recently, to power motor vehicles.

NGWA- National Ground Water Association

ODNR- Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Permeability- A measure of the ability of a material to allow fluids to pass through it.

Production Casing- The final interval in a well. The smallest casing, it forms the outer boundary of the annulus.

Proppant- A material that keeps a fracture open. A proppant can be gel, foam or slickwater-based.

Reservoir- An area that contains a resource. In fracking, well operators are seeking to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground.

Shale- Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock that is formed from compacted mud. Black shales sometimes breakdown to form natural gas or oil.

Surface Casing- A pipe that protects fresh-water aquifers and it also provides structural strength so that other casings may be used.

Surfactant- Compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid.

TRI- Toxics Release Inventory

Unsaturated Zone- A zone where the soil and the rock contains air as well as water in its pores. It’s above the groundwater table. The unsaturated zone doesn’t contain readily available water, but it does provide water and nutrients to the biosphere.

Utica Shale- A natural gas containing rock formation below the Marcellus Shale. The Utica Shale formation extends from eastern Ohio through much of Pennsylvania to western New York.

Vadose Zone- The layer of earth between the land’s surface and the position of groundwater is at atmospheric pressure.

Pooling or unitization- A provision that allows landowners to combine land to form a drilling unit.

Primary term- The length of a lease in years.

Royalty- A payment received by the lessor from the oil or gas company, based on the production of the well and market prices.

Secondary term- The length of a lease after a well is drilled.

Shut-in royalty- A payment to the lessor in lieu of a production royalty. This is received when a well cannot produce due to production problems.

Termination- The end of a lease.

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Through the Shale Gas Reporter, we are dedicated to giving our readers unbiased and reliable information on shale gas development.