Impact of shale gas development on regional water quality

R. D. Vidic, S. L. Brantley, J. M. Vandenbossche, D. Yoxtheimer, J. D. Abad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

828 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unconventional natural gas resources offer an opportunity to access a relatively clean fossil fuel that could potentially lead to energy independence for some countries. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing make the extraction of tightly bound natural gas from shale formations economically feasible. These technologies are not free from environmental risks, however, especially those related to regional water quality, such as gas migration, contaminant transport through induced and natural fractures, wastewater discharge, and accidental spills. We review the current understanding of environmental issues associated with unconventional gas extraction. Improved understanding of the fate and transport of contaminants of concern and increased long-term monitoring and data dissemination will help manage these water-quality risks today and in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1235009
JournalScience
Volume340
Issue number6134
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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