Tag Archives: hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing decreases infant health, study finds

Infants within 2 miles of fracking sites more likely to have low birth weight

From North Dakota to Texas to Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing has transformed many places in America into energy powerhouses. But while some see the new energy boom as benefiting the local economy, others fear the potential health and environmental consequences. As U.S. and international policymakers grapple with whether the benefits of allowing hydraulic fracturing outweigh the costs, new evidence sheds light on a clear cost: an increase in the probability of poorer health for babies born near these sites. (more…)

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Electricity from shale gas vs. coal: Lifetime toxic releases from coal much higher

ANN ARBOR — Despite widespread concern about potential human health impacts from hydraulic fracturing, the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from electricity generated with natural gas obtained via fracking, according to a new University of Michigan study. (more…)

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Study Quantifies Potential for Water Reuse in Permian Basin Oil Production

Hydraulic fracturing often brings up large volumes of water that need to be managed. A study led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that in the Permian Basin, a large oil field in Texas and New Mexico, reusing water at other well sites is a viable way to deal with the water that could also reduce potential instances of induced seismicity. (more…)

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Hydraulic fracturing vs. Global Anti-Fracking Movement

First let’s get to understand what fracking is:

According to Environmental Protection Agency, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, produces fractures in the rock formation that stimulate the flow of natural gas or oil, increasing the volumes that can be recovered. Wells may be drilled vertically hundreds to thousands of meters below the land surface and may include horizontal or directional sections extending thousands of meters. (more…)

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YSPH Study of Environmental Contaminants Associated with Fracking Underway in Ohio

A team of Yale School of Public Health scientists has launched the Ohio Water and Air Quality Study in Belmont County, Ohio. The scientists will collect and analyze water and air samples this summer as well as administer health questionnaires to 100 residents in communities with unconventional natural gas development. The researchers will investigate the potential for exposure to environmental pollutants and whether any health problems have resulted. (more…)

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Natural Gas Saves Water and Reduces Drought Vulnerability, Even When Factoring in Water Lost to Hydraulic Fracturing

AUSTIN, Texas – A new study finds that in Texas, the U.S. state that annually generates the most electricity, the transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought.

Even though exploration for natural gas through hydraulic fracturing requires significant water consumption in Texas, the new consumption is easily offset by the overall water efficiencies of shifting electricity generation from coal to natural gas. The researchers estimate that water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is 25 to 50 times as great as the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing to extract the natural gas. Natural gas also enhances drought resilience by providing so-called peaking plants to complement increasing wind generation, which doesn’t consume water. (more…)

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Engineers Improve Recycling System in Hydraulic Fracturing to Save Water and Energy

AUSTIN, Texas — Chemical engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed high-efficiency, durable filters to improve mobile water recycling systems used in hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking. The filters may significantly reduce the amount of water and energy that fracking requires.

Professor Benny Freeman and his research team in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering completed a study that shows their membrane-based filtration system improves the efficiency of treating and safely reusing water used for fracking at drill sites. The study shows that the team’s filter can produce up to 50 percent more water for reuse compared with other filtration systems, greatly reducing demand for fresh water. In addition to producing a higher volume of purified water, the new filter system also operates at lower pressure than traditional systems, meaning significant energy savings. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Membrane Science. (more…)

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New Study Shows No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination From Hydraulic Fracturing

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released Thursday by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

The study, released at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that many problems ascribed to hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs. (more…)

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