Alumni Association annual lecture: Shale-fracking - good or breaking bad?

8 May 2014, 6.30 PM - 8 May 2014, 6.30 PM

LT1, School of Chemistry, Cantock’s Close, Bristol BS8 1TS

Dr Lew Watts (BSc 1974) will give the 44th Alumni Association Annual Lecture on ‘Shale-Fracking: Good or Breaking Bad?’.

The practice of fracking shale has transformed the energy landscape in North America. It has resulted in an enormous economic stimulus in the US, through job creation, provision of low-cost gas for manufacturing, and through a massive, growing reduction in oil imports. This lecture will explore what is different about today’s staged hydraulic fracturing compared with that used for the last 50 years, why it is successful and why it is considered controversial. It will also discuss why the US is unique and that the development of shale resources in other countries will be slower and more challenging.

Dr Lew Watts has a 35-year career within the energy industry during which he held executive positions within Shell, Halliburton and as CEO of PFC Energy. During this time he lived and worked in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa and the US. In 2009 he chaired the World Bank's external panel on energy security, energy access and climate change and currently sits on several corporate boards in the UK, Norway and the US. He is also a member of the governing board of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Booking information

This event is free to attend and open to all UoB alumni, staff and students.  For further information or to book your tickets, visit the Eventbrite site.

Please note that all events are subject to change. We regularly post event updates and news to the alumni Facebook page so you can keep in touch and reconnect with old friends. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future events, please contact the alumni team at

This event is organised by University of Bristol Alumni Office

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