Hydraulic Fracturing/Fracking

UK environmental group warns of fracking risks

The Independent

The British charity the CHEM trust is warning that hydraulic fracturing poses health risks, issuing a report as the Lancashire County Council is set to vote whether to approve England's first fracking operation, the Independent reports.

BP Photo

EIA: Oil price plunge took drilling services with it

When the price of oil plummeted more than 50 percent between June 2014 and January 2015, oilfield services and products like drilling, well casing, cementing and fracking sand took hits as well, a new analysis from the government’s energy statistics agency says.

The Energy Information Administration report examined the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index, or PPI, which tracks the rates that oil and natural gas support companies were charging for their services during the period from June 2014 to May 2015.

Texas regulators: Disposal wells didn't cause 4.0 earthquake

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas oil and gas regulators say there is no evidence that a record 4.0 earthquake last month in the northern part of the state was caused by injecting oilfield waste into underground wells.

The Texas Railroad Commission said Friday it reached that conclusion after testing five disposal wells in Johnson County. The May earthquake didn't cause any serious damage or injuries. It was the largest in recorded history in North Texas.

Exxon subsidiary says it's not causing Texas quakes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A natural gas extraction company controlled by energy giant Exxon Mobil sought to prove Wednesday that it is not to blame for a recent rash of small earthquakes in North Texas, telling a powerful state agency that it believes the earthquakes occurred naturally.

XTO Energy submitted evidence to the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state's massive oil and gas industry, during a hearing that will test the agency's willingness to suspend permits for injection wells based on seismology. The wells store wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, which has opened vast reserves of natural gas in North Texas but critics blame for causing small earthquakes.

Environmental Protection Agency

Fracking backers, foes find validation in EPA drinking water report

Hydraulic fracturing does not inherently contaminate groundwater supplies, according to a draft Environmental Protection Agency report released Thursday, but opponents of the process found enough evidence to cite the report as proof that fracking can't be considered safe. 

The 998-page draft assessment finds that, even though fracking and related activities have had “no systemic, widespread impact” on drinking water, there has been a limited number of instances in which fracking-related activities such as well integrity and wastewater disposal have been linked to drinking water impacts, including well contamination.


EPA: No 'systemic impacts' to groundwater from fracking, but some 'vulnerabilities'

A draft report released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency says hydraulic fracturing has not led to “widespread, systemic” effects on drinking water, but there are some potential "vulnerabilities" stemming from poor practices.

While the study found some specific cases where the process affected drinking water, including some well contamination, “they were small compared to the large number of hydraulically fractured wells across the country.” Those cases stemmed from inadequate well integrity and poor wastewater management.

Other potential for risks include withdrawing water from low-resource areas and fracking directly into reserves containing groundwater.

The study analyzed the flow of water throughout the drilling process, from acquisition of water to chemical mixing, well injection, and wastewater collection and disposal.

The agency will finalize the study following a public comment period and a Science Advisory Board review.

Fracking restarts in Denton, activists arrested


Drilling resumed in Denton Monday under a new Texas law that blocks local fracking bans, despite protests that saw three activists arrested, FuelFix reports.

Fracking protests picking up in Denton

Denton Record-Chronicle

Fracking ban supporters continue to look into possible legal challenges to a new state law blocking Denton, Texas from interfering with drilling, while protesters have been picketing a well site, the Denton Record-Chronicle reports.

Pennsylvania aiming for quieter fracking wells

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is proposing new standards requiring drillers take steps to cut well pad noise, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Judge temporarily halts fracking approvals in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A judge has halted the approval of fracking operations in North Carolina until a higher court weighs in on the legality of the appointment of several boards that manage state resources and the environment.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens' decision earlier this month prevents the Mining and Energy Commission from approving drilling units for hydraulic fracturing until the state Supreme Court decides a separate case regarding how the state panels are formed. No drilling units had been approved before the judge issued his order.


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