Texas Tech University

Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium (UpTec)

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Texas Tech University’s Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium (UpTec) is a multidisciplinary, collaborative research cluster composed of more than 50 researchers from 14 departments, as well as the School of Law, in cooperation with other researchers across Texas and the U.S. UpTec is divided into three sub-groups reflecting the different group themes:

Hydraulic fracturing has revolutionized oil and gas production in the United States and has the potential to sustain conventional energy resources at low cost throughout the 21st century. It has completely changed expectations for power generation, bulk chemical processing and the use of natural gas in these sectors as well as a transportation fuel and as an export commodity. To meet the promise of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production, however, there are significant challenges that extend beyond the traditional interests of the industry. The variety of natural environments where these oil and gas resources exist place new demands on the materials and technology of hydraulic fracturing and lead to new and poorly understood concerns for environmental damage. Of particular concern are the implications of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on water availability and quality, especially in the face of the drought faced by much of the western United States in recent years. Finally, the rapid growth in oil and gas development, particularly in areas with relatively low prior activity, and the potential for negative environmental consequences, has led to public concern. This calls for both research into these issues as well as extensive engagement and education efforts to aid effective public participation in shaping the policy and practice of hydraulic fracturing. It is toward these goals that UpTec is directed. Specific thrusts include:

Some specific project initiatives by the group include:

The vision of UpTec is to become a global leader in hydraulic fracturing research by developing sustainable practices for hydraulic fracturing technologies, examining public understanding and media coverage of hydraulic fracturing, designing and implementing effective hydraulic fracturing communication and education efforts, and exploring the human and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing within the water-scarce region of West Texas.


Announcements & Events

HFRG Name Changed to Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium (UpTec):

  • On April 7, 2014, Vice President for Research Robert Duncan introduced the Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium (UpTec), formerly the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Group (HFRG). The purpose of the name change is to better encompass the multidisciplinary nature of the extended research group and adequately convey the strategic focus that the consortium's efforts can bring to hydraulic fracturing technology.

The First Hydraulic Fracturing Forum for Oil and Gas Extraction and Production:

  • On Jan. 6, 2014, the Texas Tech Office of the Vice President for Research hosted the first Hydraulic Fracturing Forum for Oil and Gas Extraction and Production to discuss the future of hydraulic fracturing research at the university with both national and international collaborators.

2013 Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium:

  • TTU’s UpTec hosted a Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium Nov. 21, 2013 with guest lecturer George E. King, Distinguished Engineering Advisor of Apache Corporation. King’s presentation focused on the technology adaptation and innovations that contributed to the growth in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal wells.

UpTec Meetings:

  • TBD

If you are interested in the Unconventional Production Technology and Environmental Consortium, please contact the OVPR Research Development Team at rdt.vpr@ttu.edu.