New surprising analysis of fracking wastewater

11. February, 2013 News No comments

Since the beginning hydraulic fracturing is a very controversial matter, having as many opponents as supporters. Main arguments of adversaries are that components of fracking fluid may cause adverse environmental effect and that fracking would disturb natural water equilibrium in the region, because of large amounts of water that are used in the process. New analysis made by researchers at Duke and Kent State Universities shed new light on the matter.

It occurs that hydraulically fractured natural gas wells of Marcellus shale region produce less wastewater per unit of gas recovered than conventional wells would. Actually, shale gas wells produce 10 times more wastewater than conventional wells, but they also produce about 30 times more natural gas. So if Marcellus was a conventional well, the total amount of wastewater from gas production in the region would increase by about 1710% since 2004, not by 570% as it is now.

Another surprising fact shown by the analysis is that only a third of the wastewater from Marcellus is flowback from hydraulic fracturing. Most of it is classified as brine, which is produced also while conventional well exploitation.

The analysis is very important for inhabitants of countries, which plan to exploit shale gas wells and have to face up to discussions concerning hydraulic fracturing.

Analysis of Fracking Wastewater Yields Some Surprises | ScienceDaily

What do you think about results of the analysis? May it refute the theory of fracking’s harmfulness?


Photos:; Łukasz Ostalski (

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Joanna Wilaszek

Editor-in-chief of YoungPetro, for almost three years engaged in work of the editorial board. Member of the board of AGH UST SPE Student Chapter and a fourth-year student of Mining and Geology on Drilling, Oil and Gas Faculty at AGH University. Her hobbies are: travelling, dance and skiing.

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