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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Duke, USGS study: no groundwater contamination from fracking in Arkansas

A new study by Duke University and the U. S. Geological survey that finds no evidence of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations in the Fayetteville Shale in north-central Arkansas.

According to a Duke news release, the "results show no discernible impairment of groundwater quality in areas associated with natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in this region."

The release is worth quoting at length:

"The hydrogeology of Arkansas's Fayetteville Shale basin is very different from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale," {Duke professor Avner) Vengosh noted. 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 said. 

"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 said.  "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."

1 comment:

  1. I think that it was hoax that the hydraulic fracturing process contaminates the ground water . The details mentioned in study are great .

    Bruce Hammerson

    Hydraulic Installation Kits