A new report reveals that the concern that hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to remove natural gas is contaminating groundwater is overstated. Fracking has been hailed as an energy game-changer, a drilling technique that can release vast new reserves of natural gas. The claims were made at the once a year AAAS conference in Vancouver, Canada.
Fracking, though, has become highly controversial, with claims that the pressurized fluids can find their way into water courses and drinking supplies, and also trigger small earthquakes. The Energy Institute team did not look at all of these issues in detail, preferring in the first instance to concentrate on the groundwater contamination reports. According to Dr. Groat, far more research on hydraulic fracturing was desired, and his Energy Institute planned now to take a closer look at the other concerns such as any increased earthquake risk.