A new study has found that 130 water wells in Pennsylvania and Texas were contaminated by gas leaks caused by problems with the casing or lining of drilling wells, and not by the process of fracking.
Blue & Green Tomorrow is currently running a crowdfunder to ensure its survival. Please pledge.
The report, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed 130 wells in areas where elevated levels of methane in drinking water had already been detected.
The researchers were then able to trace the methane back to drilling sites where the lining or casings of the extraction rigs were deemed faulty, which subsequently caused the gas leak.
113 wells in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania were analysed, alongside 20 in the Barnett shale in Texas – finding eight clusters of wells with contamination problems.
Fracking has remained a controversial topic in the US, especially in Pennsylvania, where authorities recently released data that confirmed 243 cases where drinking water was contaminated by fracking operations.
Talking to the BBC, Prof Robert Jackson from Stanford University, a co-author of the study, said, “The mechanism of contamination looks to be well integrity.
“In about half the cases we believe the contamination came from poor cementing and in the other half it came from well casings that leaked.”
The researchers believe that the gas leaks are caused by the large volumes of water being applied at high pressure in the drilling wells, which are unable to cope.
This has led to a review of the economic pressure that drillers are under to quickly finish sites and move onto the next project, in order to sustain the ongoing shale gas boom in both Pennsylvania and Texas.
“You need strong rules and regulations on well integrity,” said Jackson.
“You need generous setbacks that protect homes and schools and water sources from drilling, sometimes farther than the drillers would want. You need enough inspectors on the ground to keep people honest and you need separation between the industry and the inspectors and you don’t always have that in the US.”
Fracking in the UK has yet to reach a similar level as its presence in the US, with sustained criticism of the current government’s support of the industry. Stricter regulations have been proposed by opposition parties in the run-up to general election next year, as protestors and campaigners continue to oppose it.
Photo source: Daniel Foster via Flickr
Like our Facebook Page
Cultivating an Environmentally-Friendly Home
Eco-Friendly Healthcare: Five Steps for a More Sustainable Medical Practice
Embracing Profit and Long-Term Sustainability: An Undeniably Green Future
4 Eco-Friendly Tips to Maximize the Fuel Efficiency of Diesel Generators
How Your Business Can Create a More Sustainable Supply Chain
There is no Planet B: The Growing Importance of ESG
How Municipalities Can Become More Energy Efficient
The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Destinations to Visit in France
5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Make Money Streaming Eco-Friendly Content
5 Great Ways to Have a More Eco-Friendly Wedding This Year
Greta Thunberg: a True Advocate for Environmental and Women’s Rights
The Vegan Revolution: Rise of The Plant-Based Business
Here’s Why Solar Power Demand Has Accelerated Sharply
Africa Must Capitalize on Growing Interest in Sustainable Investments
Creating an Eco-Friendly Garden that is Free of Pests
How to Make Your Ecommerce Business More Eco-Friendly?
Luxury Development for The Ultra-Rich Causing Climate Change Conundrum in Barbuda
How Can Social Media Help In Promoting Sustainable Lifestyle?
4 Electric Car Maintenance Tips to Slash Your Carbon Footprint
3 Things Sustainable Companies Do for ‘Green’ Construction
- Features9 months ago
Eco-Friendly Interior Design Is Easier Than You Might Think
- Features7 months ago
Eco-Friendly Hacks To Create A Durable Shop For Your Home
- Features7 months ago
5 Simple Ways To Create A Greener And Healthier Home
- Environment10 months ago
The Benefits Of Sustainable Agriculture For Farmers