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Company's shale school is a unique teaching tool

The Oklahoman energy team learned about the history, present and potential future of the natural gas industry as participants of Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s Shale School.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: April 13, 2012

The Oklahoman energy team spent the day Thursday learning about the natural gas industry.

As part of our effort to cover the industry as fully as possible, we took advantage of an opportunity to see the industry from an insider's perspective.

As participants of Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s Shale School, we spoke with numerous company executives and also talked to researchers who make decisions on where and how to drill a well.

At their reservoir technology center, scientists analyze samples to determine whether the rock deep below the surface contains producible amounts of oil or natural gas. In many cases, the target layer of rock is only 40 feet thick and is hidden more than two miles below ground.

In the 3-D visualization room, analysts manipulate a three-dimensional rendering of what the rock looks like up to 40,000 feet below the surface. Researchers map out the best routes and targets for future wells.

Shale school is part science class and part infomercial where participants learn about the history, present and potential future of natural gas in North America.

Chesapeake typically provides the program twice a month.

Most participants are current or potential natural gas consumers, including manufacturers, electric utilities, trucking companies, shipping companies and carmakers.

“We want to show the true economics and technological innovation to companies that are bringing manufacturing back to the United States,” said Taylor Shinn, Chesapeake's senior director of corporate development. “We can present those companies with the facts so that they can make better decisions that affect thousands of potential jobs when they decide where to locate a plant or how to move their products.”

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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