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Index > Environment > Fracking Water Disposal methods

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Hydraulic Fracturing Faces Growing Competition for Water Supplies in Water-Stressed Regions

Escalating Water Strains In Fracking Regions

Nearly half of fracking happens in places short on water

As Oil and Gas Drilling Competes for Water,
One New Mexico County Says No

Spread of Hydrofracking Could Strain Water Resources in Western USA

Investors Tackle Fracking And Water Scarcity Risks

Growing Water Scarcity in US is 'Hidden' Financial Risk for Investors

Fracking Can Strain U.S. Water Supplies

The Fracker’s Quest: More Water

Water Protection Gets Shortchanged in Proposed Fracking Rules

Nearly one in 10 U.S. watersheds is “stressed”

USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment, Economy

Halliburton Loophole

"Father of Fracking"
George Mitchell
concerns over environmental
impacts of fracking

History of Fracking
Only a new technology

USA Fracking Stories

A Texan tragedy

Gas injection may have triggered earthquakes in Texas

California Lags in Fracking Regulations

All In for California Water

Fracking in Michigan

Fracking in Michigan Potential Impact on Health, Environment, Economy

Hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale

Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Marcellus Shale Gas Economics

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Pennsylvania Fracking

Fracking in Virginia

Lesson From Wyoming Fracking

Water Pollution from Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Substantial Water Pollution Risks

Methane in drinking water wells

Abandoned gas wells leak

Natural Gas Leaks Discovered in Boston

Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston

Methane leaks make fracking dirty

Fracking effects real estate values

Fracking stimulates earthquakes

Protecting Gas Pipelines From Earthquakes

Gas Pipeline Earthquake - Simulations

America's crumbling pipelines

Averting Pipeline Failures

Dangers to Underground Pipelines

Gas Pipelines Could Serve as Wireless Links

Government Action needed on a National Energy Policy

EPA Releases Update on Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

What Oil Prices Have in Store?

Methane Out, Carbon Dioxide In

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Professor Ingraffea

Anti-Fracking Billboard

Natural Gas Drilling

Threats to Biodiversity

Pronghorn Migration
hindered by gas development

Microbes in a Fracking Site

Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Shale Gas Production

Research into the Fracking Controversy

Convert Methane Into Useful Chemicals

Methane Natural Gas Into Diesel

'Natural Gas' at the molecular level

Arctic Methane risks

Arctic Methane Seeps

Great Gas Hydrate Escape

Undersea Methane Seep Ecosystem

Methane in the Atmosphere of Early Earth

Methane Natural Gas Linked to Climate Change

Cutting Methane Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

California | Colorado | Dakota | Marcellus | Massachusetts | Michigan | New York |
Ohio | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Wyoming

Shale & Coal Seam Gas

Disposal methods of Produced Water from around the World

“The disposal of co-produced water has proved to be the biggest environmental problem associated with exploitation of coal seam methane fields in the USA, although the quantity and quality of the water can vary enormously between coal basins. Stricter environmental regulations are making direct disposal options increasingly difficult.” (Clarke, 1996)

British Gas dumping toxic water on Australian soil
Published on Nov 19, 2012 Multi national Coal Seam Gas company British Gas (BG Group) owns QGC in Australia. This video shows them dumping contaminated product water on Australian roads, in the rivers and into the drink water supplies for many years now.


Frackers caught disposing of frackwater in California

November 26, 2013 Shafter, Kern County - California state inspectors issued a notice of violation and a fine of $60,000 to oil company Vintage Production after viewing a YouTube video of an illegal discharge shot in October 2012 by Shafter environmental activist Tom Frantz.

The video has now led the state to look into the drilling activity of dozens of other companies.

Regional board leaders are reviewing a state waiver granted five years ago that allows companies to legally discharge some kinds of fluids and drilling muds into unlined pits. In the settlement, Vintage has agreed to cease discharging into any unlined pits in agricultural areas.

Even though the de facto moratorium on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing in New York State continues, the disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations is occurring in New York now and deserves our attention.

In July 2013, Riverkeeper wrote to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and requested information about one method of handling fracking waste that New York is currently allowing: the use of production brine from conventional, low-volume fracking on New York roads for de-icing, dust control, and road stabilization. 

The extraction of natural gas using fracking produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste that can contain a number of harmful pollutants, including salts (sometimes expressed as total dissolved solids or TDS); chemical additives, which may include ethylene glycol, naphthalene, and sulfuric acid; metals; organic compounds; and other contaminants.

Exxon Charged With Illegally Dumping Polluted Fracking Fluid

September 11, 2013 Pennsylvania’s Attorney General has filed criminal charges against ExxonMobil for illegally dumping tens of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing waste at a drilling site in 2010. The Exxon subsidiary, XTO Energy, had removed a plug from a wastewater tank, leading to 57,000 gallons of contaminated water spilling into the soil.


Another Pennsylvania Wastewater Treatment Plant Accused of Illegally Disposing Radioactive Fracking Waste

18 July 2013 A Pennsylvania industrial wastewater treatment plant has been illegally accepting oil and gas wastewater and polluting the Allegheny river with radioactive waste and other pollutants, according to an environmental group which announced today that it is suing the plant.

“Waste Treatment Corporation has been illegally discharging oil and gas wastewater since at least 2003, and continues to discharge such wastewater without authorization under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Streams Law,” the notice of intent to sue delivered by Clean Water Action reads.


Nova Scotia, Canada to ban fracking water from New Brunswick

28 November 2013 Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says a bill to prohibit out-of-province fracking waste is coming soon.

"If New Brunswick wants to do fracking or any other province wants to do fracking, don't look to the province of Nova Scotia to deal with your fracking waste," he said.

And back in Australia ...

04 December 2013 AGL’s is still trying to figure out where to put their waste water from the wells at Gloucester NSW.

AGL's Mike Moraza says there are several sites being considered.

“There are locations at Sydney, there are locations in Newcastle, there are locations up in the Taree district,” he said.

However the nearby water corporations don't want it.

Hunter Water says the amount of flowback produced is too much for their plant to be able to treat and dispose of.

Midcoast Water says that if it wanted to treat the water, a special variation to its licence would be needed which they have no plans to obtain.

The New South Wales Greens spokesperson for mining Jeremy Buckingham said it has to end up somewhere, and NSW residents should look out.

“Is it going to end up in a sewer, in a creek, in our rivers?” he asked.

“There is no credible plan for how they're going to deal with this toxic water.

“Sydney residents, Newcastle residents, Taree residents are going to be a dumping ground for this toxic flowback water from coal seam gas.”

Manmade lakes to hold water from coal seam gas wells

March 2013 Gas company Santos is digging giant lakes in the Pilliga district, north-western NSW, to hold millions of litres of contaminated water from their coal seam gas wells.

The plastic-lined lakes will hold enough salty brine to fill about 240 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The project was approved by the state government despite the NSW Environment Protection Authority writing to government planners warning of the "inherent risk" of approving construction before a complete water management plan had been developed.

Evaporation ponds were banned in NSW in 2011 but not before the approval was given to Santos for these ponds.

What about reinjecting the fracking waste water back into the earth?

Think again ... Science 12 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6142 pp. 164-167

Enhanced Remote Earthquake Triggering at Fluid-Injection Sites in the Midwestern United States

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University


A recent dramatic increase in seismicity in the midwestern United States may be related to increases in deep wastewater injection.

Here, we demonstrate that areas with suspected anthropogenic earthquakes are also more susceptible to earthquake-triggering from natural transient stresses generated by the seismic waves of large remote earthquakes.

Enhanced triggering susceptibility suggests the presence of critically loaded faults and potentially high fluid pressures.

Sensitivity to remote triggering is most clearly seen in sites with a long delay between the start of injection and the onset of seismicity and in regions that went on to host moderate magnitude earthquakes within 6 to 20 months.

Triggering in induced seismic zones could therefore be an indicator that fluid injection has brought the fault system to a critical state.

Accepted for publication 23 May 2013.

Nicholas J. van der Elst1,*, Heather M. Savage1,
Katie M. Keranen2,†, Geoffrey A. Abers1
Author Affiliations
1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Post Office Box 1000, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA.
2ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73069, USA.

Science 12 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6142

Injection-Induced Earthquakes

William L. Ellsworth, Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey


Earthquakes in unusual locations have become an important topic of discussion in both North America and Europe, owing to the concern that industrial activity could cause damaging earthquakes.

It has long been understood that earthquakes can be induced by impoundment of reservoirs, surface and underground mining, withdrawal of fluids and gas from the subsurface, and injection of fluids into underground formations.

Injection-induced earthquakes have, in particular, become a focus of discussion as the application of hydraulic fracturing to tight shale formations is enabling the production of oil and gas from previously unproductive formations.

Earthquakes can be induced as part of the process to stimulate the production from tight shale formations, or by disposal of wastewater associated with stimulation and production.

Here, I review recent seismic activity that may be associated with industrial activity, with a focus on the disposal of wastewater by injection in deep wells; assess the scientific understanding of induced earthquakes; and discuss the key scientific challenges to be met for assessing this hazard.




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