CBS is reporting that a landmark federal study on fracking conducted by the Department of Energy, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process, seeped its way up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site.
After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said.
Although the results are preliminary -- the study is still ongoing -- they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous.
Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface, but were not detected in a monitoring zone 3,000 feet higher. That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from drinking water supplies.
Recent shale oil and gas discoveries can substantially increase onshore oil production. The Bakken oil field located in western North Dakota, northeast Montana/Canada’s Saskatchewan Province is pumping 225,000 barrels of oil a day (it started at just 3,000 barrels per day in 2005) with estimates of a million barrels of oil production per day by 2020. A newer shale oil field, Eagle Ford in Texas, is one of about 20 new fields so far that combined could increase the oil output of the United States by 25 percent within 10 years.
The Green River Formation located within Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah contains the equivalent of 6 trillion barrels of oil. The Department of Energy estimates that, of this 6 trillion, approximately 1.38 trillion barrels are potentially recoverable with today's technology That's equivalent to more than five times the conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
Those statistics, of course, assume that the U.S. and/or state governments does not prevent hydraulic fracturing (my home state NY has a moratorium on the fracking depriving the state's piggy bank of a badly needed infusion of tax revenue.
The federal government gave hydraulic fracturing a clean bill of health in 2004 and there has never been a documented case of ground water contamination owing to hydraulic fracturing. However, bowing to the envoronmentalists, president Obama has insisted that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy to conduct new tests on the process. This study is part of those tests.
If you want to learn more about fracking and the lies told about the process, I highly recommend you co the the Frack Nation site---they have been investigating this process for years.