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Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation …

Drilling rig in lush nature (close to Beeskow, Brandenburg County, Germany)

Drilling through and stimulating under aquifers has been proven to contaminate drinking water resources (symbol photo)

This comprehensive analysis of all publicly available data and reports reveals evidence of widespread contamination of drinking water aquifers around Pavillion, Wyoming, as a result of acid stimulation and hydraulic fracturing.

Key findings:

  • Although injection of stimulation fluids into USDWs (Underground Sources of Drinking Water) in the Pavillion Field was documented by EPA, potential impact to USDWs at the depths of stimulation as a result of this activity was not previously evaluated.
  • Concentrations of major ions in produced water samples outside expected levels in the Wind River Formation, leakoff of stimulation fluids into formation media, and likely loss of zonal isolation during stimulation at several production wells, indicates that impact to USDWs has occurred.
  • Detection of organic compounds used for well stimulation in samples from two monitoring wells installed by EPA, plus anomalies in major ion concentrations in water from one of these monitoring wells, provide additional evidence of impact to USDWs and indicate upward solute migration to depths of current groundwater use.
  • Detections of diesel range organics and other organic compounds in domestic wells less than 600 m from unlined pits used prior to the mid-1990s to dispose diesel-fuel based drilling mud and production fluids suggest impact to domestic wells as a result of legacy pit disposal practices.

Dominic C. DiGiulio¹ and Robert B. Jackson¹²³
Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation and Completion Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field
Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04970
Publication Date (Web): March 29, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

¹Department of Earth System Science
²Woods Institute for the Environment
³Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States

See also:
Andrew Nikiforuk, Fracking Contaminates Groundwater: Stanford Study. TheTyee.ca, March 30, 2016

Christoph Seidler, Gefahr durch Fracking: Das Dreckwasser von Wyoming, Spiegel online Mar 31, 2016 (German)


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