As North Carolina prepares to move ahead with energy exploration using hydraulic fracturing, there is more research showing that a claim by anti-fracking environmentalists is not supported by data. JLF’s Jon Sanders, director of regulatory policy, gives us a look at the latest piece of evidence.
A team of researchers from Duke University, The Ohio State University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Rochester analyzed 133 drinking water wells over the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania and 20 wells over the Barnett Shale formation in Texas, both places where there have been reports of methane in the water, which has caused some to suspect the culprit was hydraulic fracturing in local shale-gas extraction. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team “identified eight discrete clusters of fugitive gas contamination, seven in Pennsylvania and one in Texas.” They tested seven different hypotheses for the contamination, the sixth of which was “direct migration of gases upward through the overlying strata following horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing.”
In all eight clusters, they concluded that well failures were the cause, not fracking:
You can read what the researchers had to say by continuing with Jon’s blog.