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Current Fracking News and Events, Fracking News Articles.
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Fracking wastewater accumulation found in freshwater mussels' shells
Elevated concentrations of strontium, an element associated with oil and gas wastewaters, have accumulated in the shells of freshwater mussels downstream from fracking wastewater disposal sites, according to researchers from Penn State and Union College. (2018-10-22)

How slick water and black shale in fracking combine to produce radioactive waste
Study explains how radioactive radium transfers to wastewater in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas. (2018-09-18)

Water use for fracking has risen by up to 770 percent since 2011
The amount of water used per well for fracking surged by up to 770 percent between 2011 and 2016 in all major US shale gas- and oil-producing regions, a Duke University study finds. The volume of flowback and produced water that new wells generated during their first year of operation also increased by up to 1,440 percent. If this rapid intensification continues, fracking's water footprint could grow by up to 50-fold by the year 2030. (2018-08-15)

A steady increase in the water footprint at US fracking sites
Water use for hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as 'fracking') in the US has been increasing at individual facilities in recent years, even as unconventional oil and gas production has more broadly declined, a new study reports. The findings emphasize the importance of water management at fracking operations, particularly if the prices of oil and natural (2018-08-15)

When oil and water mix
Hydraulic fracturing of organic-rich shales has become a major industry. The commonly used term for this extraction of hydrocarbons -- fracking -- is especially intriguing. Not only does it convey the process of breaking apart rocks, but the dividing of public opinion. Fracking is simultaneously hyped as a boon to the economy and a disaster to the environment. (2018-07-03)

Study yields a new scale of earthquake understanding
Nanoscale knowledge of the relationships between water, friction and mineral chemistry could lead to a better understanding of earthquake dynamics, researchers said in a new study. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used microscopic friction measurements to confirm that, under the right conditions, some rocks can dissolve and may cause faults to slip. (2018-06-27)

Methane-producing microbial communities found in fracking wells
New research has uncovered the genetic details of microbes found in fracking wells. Not only do a wide array of bacteria and viruses thrive in these crevices created by hydraulic fracturing - they also have the power to produce methane, according to a study led by scientists at The Ohio State University and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2018-06-25)

Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development
Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater promotes fat cell development, or adipogenesis, in laboratory cell models, a Duke-led study finds. Researchers observed increases in the size and number of fat cells after exposing the models to a mixture of 23 common fracking chemicals or to wastewater or surface-water samples containing them, even at diluted concentrations. Adipogenesis occurred through PPARy-dependent and independent mechanisms. More research is needed to assess potential health impacts outside the laboratory. (2018-06-21)

Bradford Co. water quality improves; impacts rare near shale gas wells
A new study of groundwater in a rural Pennsylvania county shows only rare instances of possible gas contamination amid an overall trend of improving water quality despite heavy Marcellus Shale development. (2018-06-12)

Fracking the immune system
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are the first to report links between early life exposure to chemicals in ground water near fracking sites and immune system imbalances in mice. Their findings suggest that exposure to these chemicals during development may adversely affect the immune system's ability to fight diseases like multiple sclerosis later in life. (2018-05-01)

Proximity to fracking sites affects public support of them, study finds
People who live closer to fracking sites are more familiar with and more supportive of hydraulic fracturing, while those who live in proximity to areas of higher oil and gas well density are more familiar with but not necessarily more supportive of the practice. (2018-04-30)

Man-made earthquake risk reduced if fracking is 895m from faults
The risk of man-made earthquakes due to fracking is greatly reduced if high-pressure fluid injection used to crack underground rocks is 895m away from faults in the Earth's crust, according to new research. (2018-02-27)

Global fossil fuel emissions of hydrocarbons are underestimated
Global levels of ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50 percent, new research involving scientists at the University of York has revealed. These hydrocarbons are particularly harmful in large cities where, through chemical reactions with emissions from cars, they form ozone -- a greenhouse gas which is a key component of smog and directly linked to increases in mortality. (2018-02-26)

UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk
Strict controls would be 'a necessity' to minimise the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research. (2018-02-15)

Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success
The central Appalachian region is experiencing the country's most rapid growth in shale gas development, or 'fracking,' but we've known almost nothing about how this is affecting the region's songbird populations -- until now. A new study demonstrates that the nesting success of the Louisiana waterthrush -- a habitat specialist that nests along forested streams, where the potential for habitat degradation is high -- is declining at sites impacted by shale gas development in northwestern West Virginia. (2018-02-14)

Changes in mouse breast tissue after exposure to fracking chemicals
In a new study the authors believe is the first of its kind, environmental scientists led by Laura Vandenberg at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they observed changes in mammary gland development of female mice exposed during early development to the chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction -- including fracking -- at levels environmentally relevant to humans. (2018-02-07)

Exposure to chemicals used during fracking may cause pre-cancerous lesions in mice
Today, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Massachusetts released a study that found that female mice exposed to mixtures of chemicals used in fracking operations during prenatal development had abnormal mammary glands in adulthood. Additionally, some of the mice developed pre-cancerous mammary lesions that may suggest they will be more sensitive to chemicals that cause cancer. (2018-02-07)

Data-driven shale dialogue
Research published in the journal Science examines a dialogue about shale drilling between concerned citizens, watershed groups, government regulators and personnel from large energy companies by focusing on publicly available water quality data. (2018-02-06)

Reducing the footprint of a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide
USC scientists have unlocked a new, more efficient pathway for converting one of our most potent greenhouse gases directly into basic chemicals for manufacturing plastics, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. (2018-02-05)

The potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on streams
Concerns over hydraulic fracturing, an oil and gas extraction method that injects millions of gallons of freshwater and chemicals into shale, have largely focused on potential impacts on water quality. But, as scientists report in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology, 'fracking' operations could have impacts on water quantity because they are withdrawing these large amounts of water from nearby streams, which house aquatic ecosystems and are used by people for drinking and recreation. (2018-01-31)

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested that the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a new Duke study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites. Radioactivity at these sites is 650 times higher than at unaffected sites upstream. The contamination comes from conventional, or non-fracked, oil and gas wastewater, which, under current state regulations, can still be treated and discharged into streams. (2018-01-19)

Shale gas is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, research finds
Shale gas is one of least sustainable options for producing electricity, according to new research from The University of Manchester. (2018-01-16)

Further reducing injections of oilfield wastewater can prevent larger earthquakes
The study indicates that tracking annual data on the injection well locations can help predict how corresponding earthquake activity will change. (2018-01-10)

Modeling the effects of wastewater injection
Combining computer modeling, fracture mechanics theory, and real-world observations, scientists create a model for the maximum magnitude of an earthquake that can be caused through wastewater injection. (2017-12-20)

Hydraulic fracturing negatively impacts infant health
Health risks increase for infants born to mothers living within 2 miles of a hydraulic fracturing site, according to a study published Dec. 13 in Science Advances. (2017-12-13)

Impacts of local exposure to fracking sites on Pennsylvania infants
Based on a decade of data from Pennsylvania, researchers report that babies born to mothers living within 1 kilometer of active 'fracking' wells are 25 percent more likely to exhibit low birth weight -- a risk factor for infant mortality, ADHD, asthma, and other negative outcomes. The results reflect a possible health consequence of exposure to fracking pollutants. To date, (2017-12-13)

Conflicting views on social media balanced by an algorithm
Researchers from Aalto University and University of Rome Tor Vergata have designed an algorithm that is able to balance the information exposure so that social media users can be exposed to information from both sides of the discussion. (2017-12-05)

Exposure to benzene during pregnancy: a pilot study raises concerns in British Columbia
Université de Montréal research reveals that 29 pregnant women living near natural-gas hydraulic fracturing sites had a median concentration of a benzene biomarker in their urine that was 3.5 times higher than that found in women from the general Canadian population. (2017-11-13)

First coast-to-coast land motion map of Scotland derived from satellite radar images
Using hundreds of satellite radar images the team, working with Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL), an innovative University spin-out company, created a complete map of mainland Scotland. (2017-11-07)

Raton Basin earthquakes linked to oil and gas fluid injections
A rash of earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico recorded between 2008 and 2010 was likely due to fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. (2017-10-24)

Electricity from shale gas vs. coal: Lifetime toxic releases from coal much higher
Despite widespread concern about potential human health impacts from hydraulic fracturing, the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from electricity generated with natural gas obtained via fracking, according to a new University of Michigan study. (2017-10-23)

Most Americans want the government to combat climate change, some willing to pay a high amount
Sixty-one percent of Americans think climate change is a problem that the government needs to address, including 43 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats, according to a new survey from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (2017-10-02)

Helium found in coal seams could aid safe shale gas extraction
Natural deposits of helium gas found in UK coal seams could help scientists monitor the secure recovery of coal or shale gas from underground sites, according to research. (2017-09-29)

Filter may be a match for fracking water
A superhydrophilic filter produced by Rice University scientists has proven able to remove more than 90 percent of contaminants from water used in hydraulic fracturing operations at shale oil and gas wells. (2017-09-25)

UK oil and gas reserves may last only a decade, study suggests
The UK has low oil and gas resources and limited prospects for fracking, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, who recommend a shift towards greater use of renewable, clean energy. (2017-09-19)

17.6 million Americans live close to active oil and gas (and fracking) wells
An estimated 17.6 million Americans live within one mile of an active oil or gas well, according to a study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The study, by researchers at PSE Healthy Energy, a nonprofit research institute, is the first peer-reviewed nationwide measurement of the number of people living in close proximity to actively producing oil and gas wells. (2017-08-23)

Release of treated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing contaminates lake
Hydraulic fracturing has enabled a domestic oil and gas boom in the US, but its rapid growth has raised questions about what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that result. Researchers now report that treating the wastewater and releasing it into surface waters has led to the contamination of a Pennsylvania watershed with radioactive material and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The study appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. (2017-07-12)

West Virginia groundwater not affected by fracking, but surface water is
Three years of fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but accidental spills of wastewater from fracked wells may pose a threat to surface water, according to a study led by scientists at Duke University. The scientists used a broad suite of geochemical and isotopic tracers to sample for contaminants in 112 water wells near shale gas sites, including 20 wells that were sampled both before and after fracking began. (2017-04-24)

Hazardous chemicals go unregulated in routine oil and gas operations
California requires oil and gas producers to disclose chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing activities, enabling scientific and public scrutiny of potential environmental and human health hazards. But all existing disclosure regulations cover chemical use only in hydraulic fracturing, and, in California, two other types of well-stimulation treatments. Many of the same chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing go undisclosed when used in routine oil- and gas-field activities such as well drilling, cleaning and maintenance. (2017-04-19)

Anticipating hazards from fracking-induced earthquakes in Canada and US
As hydraulic fracturing operations expand in Canada and in some parts of the United States, researchers at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting are taking a closer look at ways to minimize hazards from the earthquakes triggered by those operations. (2017-04-12)

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