1 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , , ,


Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — New research on Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania may only add to the debate over whether the industry poses long-term threats to drinking water.

A paper published on Monday by Duke University researchers found that gas drilling in northeastern Pennsylvania did not contaminate nearby drinking water wells with salty brinewater, which is a byproduct of the drilling.

But the researchers say that deep naturally-occurring pathways can bring the brine up into shallow aquifers, and that could potentially bring drilling fluids to the surface in some areas.

Environmentalists have claimed that gas drilling can pollute drinking water aquifers. The industry and many state and federal officials say the practice is safe when done properly, but there have been cases where faulty wells caused pollution.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • you are being misleading

    Really? Not exactly what businessweek says about the study.

    “Still, some of the homes tested are “at higher risk” of contamination due to underlying geology, Nathaniel Warner, the lead author on the Duke study, said in a statement.

    The results show that “these areas could be at greater risk of contamination from shale-gas development because of a pre-existing network of cross-formational pathways that has enhanced hydraulic connectivity to deeper geological formations,” according to the study.

    Oh, and….

    “Terry Engelder, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University who studies geological formations in the region, reviewed the Duke paper and recommended against publication in the journal, he said.

    “The science on this paper is solid,” he said in an interview. “It’s the leap of faith they take in their interpretation and to focus everybody’s attention on the Marcellus” gas drilling.

    Once fracking takes place, gas and water will flow into the well and not up through any fissures that may exist. “The natural flow would be into the well bore,” Engelder said.”


Related News