The technology interview: Robert Kleinberg, senior research scholar, Colombia University Centre on Global Energy Policy

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Associated gas has long been a blessing and a curse for oil producers in the US; either a valuable commodity in need of marketing or an uneconomic by-product which can no longer be flared. Indeed, 20% of US gas production is now associated gas. However, for tight oil producers, associated gas is an essential part of the oil recovery process. Without it, the oil remains in the ground.  Now, however, with the ‘shale gale’ in full flow, questions remain as to how unconventional oil and gas producers can sustain production long-term without significant technological advances in secondary and tertiary oil and gas recovery – which in the case of tight oil production will involve considerable investment in the recovery of associated gas.

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