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Open Access

Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales

PNAS
TBD
Thomas H. Darrah, Avner Vengosh, Robert B. Jackson, Nathaniel R. Warner, and Robert J. Poreda
Researchers examine hydrocarbon abundance and isotopic compositions to assess whether elevated levels of hydrocarbon gas in drinking water aquifers near gas wells are natural or anthropogenic, and the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking

Annual Reviews
09 Aug 2014
Robert B. Jackson, Avner Vengosh, J. William Carey, Richard J. Davies, Thomas H. Darrah, Francis O'Sullivan, and Gabrielle Pétron
A comprehensive review of the environmental consequences of unconventional energy extraction and hydraulic fracturing, including production estimates, water intensity, issues of well integrity and potential leakage of chemicals, brines, or gases, water quality, the potential for induced seismicity and the life-cycle emissions of hydrocarbons.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012

PNAS
30 Jun 2014
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff
Previous research has demonstrated that proximity to unconventional gas development is associated with elevated concentrations of methane in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania. To date, the mechanism of this migration is poorly understood. Our study, which looks at more than 41,000 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, helps to explain one possible mechanism of methane migration: compromised structural integrity of casing and cement in oil and gas wells. Additionally, methane, being the primary constituent of natural gas, is a strong greenhouse gas. The identification of mechanisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Oil and gas wells and their integrity: Implications for shale and unconventional resource exploitation

Marine and Petroleum Geology
Mar 2014
Richard J. Davies, Sam Almond, Robert S. Ward, Robert B. Jackson, Charlotte Adams, Fred Worrall, Liam G. Herringshaw, Jon G. Gluyas, Mark A. Whitehead
This reviews datasets from around the globe in order to provide an estimate of the number of producing, idle, abandoned and orphaned onshore hydrocarbon wells globally and to document the number of wells that are known to have had some form of well barrier and/or integrity failure.
Open Access
Peer Reviewed

Matrix Complications in the Determination of Radium Levels in Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Water from Marcellus Shale

Environmental Technology & Letters
Mar 2014
Andrew W. Nelson, Dustin May, Andrew W. Knight, Eric S. Eitrheim, Marinea Mehrho, Robert Shannon, Robert Litman, Michael K. Schultz
This study investigates the utility of common radium analysis methods using a representative Marcellus Shale flowback water sample, and finds that the high ionic strength of flowback water may make commonly used wet analysis unreliable in determining radium content of flowback waters.
Peer Reviewed

A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States

Environmental Science & Technology
07 Mar 2014
Avner Vengosh, Robert B. Jackson, Nathaniel Warner, Thomas H. Darrah, Andrew Kondash
This paper provides a critical review of the potential risks that shale gas operations pose to water resources, with an emphasis on case studies mostly from the U.S.
Peer Reviewed

Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region

Endocrinology
16 Dec 2013
Christopher D. Kassotis, Donald E. Tillitt, J. Wade Davis, Annette M. Hormann, Susan C. Nagel.

This study collected, solid-phase extracted, and measured water samples in Colorado for estrogen and androgen receptor activities using reporter gene assays in human cell lines.

Peer Reviewed

Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania

Environmental Science & Technology
02 Oct 2013
Warner NR, CA, Christie, RB Jackson, A Vengosh
This study examined the water quality and isotopic compositions of discharged effluents, surface waters, and stream sediments associated with a treatment facility site in western Pennsylvania.
Peer Reviewed

Histopathological Analysis of Fish from Acorn Fork Creek, Kentucky, Exposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Releases

Southeastern Naturalist
28 Aug 2013
Diana M. Papoulias and Anthony L. Velasco
The objective of this study was to describe post-fracking water quality in Acorn Fork and evaluate if the changes in water quality could have extirpated Blackside Dace populations.
Peer Reviewed

An Evaluation of Water Quality in Private Drinking Water Wells Near Natural Gas Extraction Sites in the Barnett Shale Formation

Environmental Science & Technology
25 Jul 2013
Brian E. Fontenot, Laura R. Hunt, Zacariah L. Hildenbrand, Doug D. Carlton Jr., Hyppolite Oka, Jayme L. Walton, Dan Hopkins, Alexandra Osorio, Bryan Bjorndal, Qinhong H. Hu, and Kevin A. Schug
This study evaluated samples from 100 private drinking water wells using historical baseline data and found that arsenic, selenium, strontium and total dissolved solids (TDS) exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL) in some samples located within 3 km of active natural gas wells.
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