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UT – Hydraulic Fracturing Doesn’t Contaminate Drinking Water – Preliminary Results

by Kenneth E. DuBose on November 9, 2011

Preliminary results from a University of Texas study on hydrualic fracturing indicates the process does not contaminate drinking water. It does increase the chances for surface contamination, but they were not able to directly tie the process to drinking water contamination.

Prior reports, investigations and data gathered throughout the country on claims that the process often called fracking contaminated groundwater so far don’t make the direct link, said Chip Groat, a UT geologist who’s leading the study.

Rather, it appears that shale drilling results in more problems on the surface than drilling that doesn’t involve fracking, including spills of drilling and fracking fluids, leaks from wastewater pits and other rule violations, said Groat, who’s to unveil unveiling the preliminary results of the study in today Fort Worth.

The study also found regular reports of problems with surface casing — the steel pipe installed at the top of a well to keep the flow of hydrocarbons isolated from aquifers — and with cement jobs that hold the casing in place, Groat said.

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