• 3 minutes 2nd Annual Great Oil Price Prediction Challenge of 2019
  • 6 minutes "Leaked" request by some Democrats that they were asking Nancy to coordinate censure instead of impeachment.
  • 11 minutes Trump's China Strategy: Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts
  • 14 minutes Democrats through impeachment process helped Trump go out of China deal conundrum. Now Trump can safely postpone deal till after November 2020 elections
  • 1 hour Shale Oil Fiasco
  • 28 mins Everything you think you know about economics is WRONG!
  • 1 hour USA v China. Which is 'best'?
  • 13 hours Wallstreet's "acid test" for Democrat Presidential candidate to receive their financial support . . . Support "Carried Interest"
  • 2 mins Global Debt Worries. How Will This End?
  • 9 hours My interview on PDVSA Petrocaribe and corruption
  • 23 hours Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 15 hours Quotes from the Widowmaker
  • 21 hours Petroleum Industry Domain Names
Alt Text

Natural Gas Set To Fall Even Further

Natural gas prices are likely…

Alt Text

Global LNG Markets Are Circling The Drain

Asian and European LNG prices…

Alt Text

The Natural Gas Nation Every Exporter Is Targeting

Germany is already the world’s…

James Hamilton

James Hamilton

James is the Editor of Econbrowser – a popular economics blog that Analyses current economic conditions and policy.

More Info

Premium Content

A Look at the Environmental Concerns Surrounding Shale Gas

Technological breakthroughs in methods for drilling for natural gas have opened up the possibility of vast new supplies. However, environmental concerns may turn out to be significant.

Stuart Staniford has taken a look at a study of the effects of shale-gas extraction on drinking water recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The scatter diagram below summarizes 60 drinking water wells in Pennsylvania, with distance from a natural gas well on the horizontal axis and methane concentration in the water on the vertical axis. All of the water wells with concentrations above 28 milligrams of methane per liter of water were within one kilometer of active drilling.

Methane concentration near gas wells

Methane concentrations as a function of distance to the nearest gas well for active (closed circles, defined as within 1 km) and nonactive (open triangles, defined as grater than 1 km away) drilling areas. Source: Osborn, et. al. (2011).

Stuart also tracked down the relevance of a 28 mg/l concentration:

A dissolved methane concentration greater than 28 mg/L indicates that potentially explosive or flammable quantities of the gas are being liberated in the well and/or may be liberated in confined areas of the home.

There are potential huge investments to be contemplated to try to take advantage of the new natural gas resources, for purposes such as electrical generation by utilities, gas-powered cars and trucks, and refueling stations. But uncertainties about potential future regulation and litigation must make anyone cautious. I think it's in the interests of everyone involved to identify right away where the contamination documented above is coming from and develop regulations to minimize it.

By. James Hamilton

Reproduced from Econbrowser




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on May 18 2011 said:
    What worries me is, leakage of natural gas (which is largely methane) into the atmosphere caused by "fracking", may contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play