• 2 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 5 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 8 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 1 min Iran downs US drone. No military response . . Just Destroy their Economy Completely. Can Senator Kerry be tried for aiding enemy ?
  • 1 min Emissions Need To Be Halved To Avoid 3C Warming
  • 2 hours The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 38 mins Here We Go: New York Lawmakers Pass Aggressive Law To Fight Climate Change
  • 20 mins Coal Boom in Asia is Real and a Long Trend
  • 6 hours Summit in Pyongyang: China's Xi Says World Hopes North Korea-U.S. Talks Can Succeed
  • 7 hours Pioneer CEO Said U.S. Oil Production would be up to 15 mm bbls/day NOW if we had the pipelines. Permian pipelines STARTING Q3
  • 16 hours Solar Panels at 26 cents per watt
  • 2 hours Huge UK Gas Discovery
  • 21 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 21 hours Magic of Shale: EXPORTS!! Crude Exporters Navigate Gulf Coast Terminal Constraints
  • 21 hours US to become net oil exporter in November: EIA
  • 18 hours US Shale Drilling lacks regulatory body.
  • 20 hours Ireland To Ban New Petrol And Diesel Vehicles From 2030
Alt Text

Russia Pushes Back Against “Freedom Gas”

The global gas market has…

Alt Text

China’s Demand For Gas “Almost Infinite”

China is anticipating almost ‘infinite’…

Futurity

Futurity

Futurity covers research news from the top universities in the US, UK, Canada and Australia

More Info

Trending Discussions

Study Finds no Trace of Fracking Fluid in Arkansas Drinking Water

Samples from drinking water wells show no evidence of groundwater contamination from shale gas production in Arkansas.

“Our results show no discernible impairment of groundwater quality in areas associated with natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in this region,” says Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Scientists sampled 127 shallow drinking water wells in areas overlying Fayetteville Shale gas production in north-central Arkansas. They analyzed the samples for major and trace elements and hydrocarbons, and used isotopic tracers to identify the sources of possible contaminants.

The researchers compared the chemical composition of the contaminants to those found in water and gas samples from nearby shale gas drilling sites.

Good water quality

“Only a fraction of the groundwater samples we collected contained dissolved methane, mostly in low concentrations, and the isotopic fingerprint of the carbon in the methane in our samples was different from the carbon in deep shale gas in all but two cases,” Vengosh says.

This indicates the methane was produced primarily by biological activity in the region’s shallow aquifers and not from shale gas contamination, he adds.

Related article: Survey Shows Public Support Fracking, but Only with Tighter Regulation

“These findings demonstrate that shale gas development, at least in this area, has been done without negatively impacting drinking water resources,” says Nathaniel R. Warner, a PhD student at Duke and lead author of the study.

Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Duke, adds, “Overall, homeowners typically had good water quality, regardless of whether they were near shale gas development.”

Vengosh, Warner, Jackson, and colleagues published their peer-reviewed findings in the online edition of the journal Applied Geochemistry.

Contradicts previous studies?

Hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracking or fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals deep underground into horizontal gas wells at high pressure to crack open hydrocarbon-rich shale and extract natural gas.

Accelerated shale gas drilling and hydrofracking in recent years has fueled concerns about water contamination by methane, fracking fluids and wastewater from the operations.

Previous peer-reviewed studies by Duke scientists found direct evidence of methane contamination in drinking water wells near shale-gas drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale basin of northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as possible connectivity between deep brines and shallow aquifers, but no evidence of contamination from fracking fluids.

“The hydrogeology of Arkansas’s Fayetteville Shale basin is very different from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale,” Vengosh notes.

Related article: Shell Takes the Lead on Natural Gas, Welcomes the Future of Clean Energy

Far from contradicting the earlier studies, the Arkansas study “suggests that variations in local and regional geology play major roles in determining the possible risk of groundwater impacts from shale gas development. As such, they must be taken into consideration before drilling begins.”

Human factors—such as the drilling techniques used and the integrity of the wellbores—also likely play a role in preventing, or allowing, gas leakage from drilling sites to shallow aquifers, Vengosh notes.

“The take-home message is that regardless of the location, systematic monitoring of geochemical and isotopic tracers is necessary for assessing possible groundwater contamination,” he adds.

“Our findings in Arkansas are important, but we are still only beginning to evaluate and understand the environmental risks of shale gas development. Much more research is needed.”

Scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS) contributed to the study, which was funded by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and the Duke Center on Global Change. Field sampling activities were funded by Shirley Community Development Corporation; Faulkner County, Arkansas; the University of Arkansas; the Arkansas Water Resource Center; and the USGS Arkansas Water Science Center.

By. Tim Lucas




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Acme hydrology inc on May 17 2013 said:
    The key "trick" phrase is discernable impairment- which means, it's there, they found it, the complaintants were right, it is destroying the quality of the water, but the powerbrokers are unable to discern how to spin the story so that they can impair the people learning the truth. Fracking damaging the water supply is a yes or no answer, anything else is rubbish. And not only is fracking very badly polluting the shallow surface wells, it's also contaminating the aquifers that supply the US downstream from the frack sites. Further, as contaminants enter the aquifer at the frack sites, they destroy the natural filtration capability of the rock and dirt as it flows through towards the equator, and as the water flows through each fracking sight, the water picks up more and more contaminants. Fracking is destroying the US water table from top to bottom!

Leave a comment





Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News