Event Title

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Water Wells Affected by Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas Production, Uintah Basin, Eastern Utah

Presenter Information

Ryan Sorensen

Location

ECC 307/309

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-3-2012 1:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2012 1:50 PM

Description

In the pursuit of ending the United States dependence on foreign oil and creating cleaner forms of energy, America has begun to branch out into domestic natural gas. Natural gas is believed to be a cleaner form of fossil fuel and is abundantly found trapped in the shale rock below many people’s feet. The current form of extracting the natural gas, called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” involves forcing into the earth millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and additives (propellants). The high water pressure can shatter and break the shale, while the sand keeps the resulting fractures open so that the natural gas can be pumped by a well. Fracking has the potential to mobilize both naturally occurring hydrocarbons and the hydrocarbons present in the fracking fluid (kerosene, diesel fuel, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers and others) so that the hydrocarbons might migrate into aquifers used for domestic water supply. Currently in the Uintah Basin near Roosevelt in eastern Utah, the gas industry is engaged in fracking for natural gas production. The objective of this study is to measure total petroleum hydrocarbons in water wells that could be affected by fracking. The locations of injection wells for which hydraulic fracturing permits have been granted is being determined using the web site of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, while water wells near to these injection wells are being located using the web site of the Utah Division of Water Rights. The owners of the possibly affected water wells are being contacted and, with their permission, water samples will be collected both before and after fracking. For each water sample, total petroleum hydrocarbons will be measured using the spectrophotometric method. Results will be reported at the meeting.

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Apr 3rd, 1:30 PM Apr 3rd, 1:50 PM

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Water Wells Affected by Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas Production, Uintah Basin, Eastern Utah

ECC 307/309

In the pursuit of ending the United States dependence on foreign oil and creating cleaner forms of energy, America has begun to branch out into domestic natural gas. Natural gas is believed to be a cleaner form of fossil fuel and is abundantly found trapped in the shale rock below many people’s feet. The current form of extracting the natural gas, called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” involves forcing into the earth millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and additives (propellants). The high water pressure can shatter and break the shale, while the sand keeps the resulting fractures open so that the natural gas can be pumped by a well. Fracking has the potential to mobilize both naturally occurring hydrocarbons and the hydrocarbons present in the fracking fluid (kerosene, diesel fuel, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers and others) so that the hydrocarbons might migrate into aquifers used for domestic water supply. Currently in the Uintah Basin near Roosevelt in eastern Utah, the gas industry is engaged in fracking for natural gas production. The objective of this study is to measure total petroleum hydrocarbons in water wells that could be affected by fracking. The locations of injection wells for which hydraulic fracturing permits have been granted is being determined using the web site of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, while water wells near to these injection wells are being located using the web site of the Utah Division of Water Rights. The owners of the possibly affected water wells are being contacted and, with their permission, water samples will be collected both before and after fracking. For each water sample, total petroleum hydrocarbons will be measured using the spectrophotometric method. Results will be reported at the meeting.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/33