In response to technical advances that have expanded Ohio’s hydrocarbon resource potential, The Ohio State University (OSU) has created the Subsurface Energy Resource Center (SERC) with a goal to conduct and facilitate relevant shale research.

Shale development is to be the near-term primary focus of SERC, but other energy resources also are to be addressed as opportunities and needs arise, OSU stated. The center is staffed by faculty in economics, law and policy; earth science; engineering; energy and environmental science; extension and community development; and public health.

“The creation of the Subsurface Energy Resource Center leverages the considerable expertise of Ohio State to provide a solid foundation for energy research and partnerships throughout Ohio,” said President E. Gordon Gee. “It draws upon a strong base of both excellence in environmental and energy research and commitment to partnering for Ohio’s future. Together, we can develop as a comprehensive resource for policymakers, companies and citizens.”

SERC was created to ensure that OSU would be a key participant in forums and decision making groups on energy and environmental issues related to subsurface development, Gee said. Under the leadership of OSU’s Ron Sega, who is enterprise executive for energy and the environment, SERC would facilitate opportunities for the university’s researchers and organized groups to work on major proposal development opportunities.

Co-directors of SERC are Jeffrey Daniels and Douglas Southgate. Daniels, a geophysicist, is a professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Southgate, an economist, is a professor in the Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics department.

Daniels currently is working to characterize reservoir and shale in Ohio for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration potential, a project that has implications for gas shale as well as CO2 storage. Southgate specializes in natural resource development and currently is contributing to an assessment of the impacts on Ohio’s economy of extracting fossil fuels from shale formations in the state.