May 21, 2018

Ohio Study Finds Natural Gas Exploration Has No Impact On Groundwater

A new study by the University of Cincinnati that was originally funded by opponents of hydraulic fracturing and shale energy development, found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, had no impact on groundwater in eastern Ohio. Geologists with the university had examined drinking water in Carroll, Stark, and Harrison counties, a rural region in northeast Ohio where many residents rely on water from private underground wells. The report was published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Monitoring Assessment.

What methane was found in the water samples was biogenic and not from Utica Shale drilling, the study said. The researchers concluded, “We found no relationship between CH4 [methane] concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites,” and “Our data do not indicate any intrusion of high conductivity fracking fluids as the number of fracking wells increased in the region.”

According to the university, the study was the first of its kind in Ohio to examine methane in groundwater in relation to natural gas drilling.