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GSA Critical Issue: Hydraulic Fracturing

Table of Contents


Hydraulic Fracturing Defined

Hydraulic Fracturing’s History
and Role in Energy Development

Potential Environmental Issues
Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing

Water Quality

Water Use

Triggered or Induced Seismicity

Regulation Issues

Staying Informed



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The hydraulic fracturing critical issue will be periodically updated.

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  2. Recommend annotated references on hydraulic fracturing, with a link to the refereed journal. Article annotation limited to 75 words.
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  1. Sharma, Mukul MK. and Phani B. Gadde, R. Sullivan, R. Fielder, D. Copeland, L. Griffin, and L. Weihers; September 2004, Slick Water and Hybrid Fracs in the Bossier: Some Lessons Learnt. Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc. SPE 89876 (access at
  2. Wang, Zhongmin and Alan Krupnick, April 2013, A Retrospective Review of Shale Gas Development in the United States What Led to the Boom? Resources for the Future, RFF DP 13-12 (access at
  3. Trembath, Alex, Jesse Jenkins, Ted Nordhaus, and Michael Shellenberger, May 2012; Where the Shale Gas Revolution Came From: Government’s Role in the Development of Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale (access at
  4. United States Energy Information Administration, December 2012, What is Shale Gas and Why is It Important? Energy in Brief (access at
  5. United State Geological Survey, May 2013, Assessment of Undiscovered Oil Resources in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations, Williston Basin Province, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, 2013 National Assessment of Oil and Gas Fact Sheet 2013-3013 (access at
  6. Vidic, R.D., S.L. Brantley, S.L., J.M. Venderbossche, D.Yoxtheimer, and J.D. Abad, May 17, 2013, Impact of Shale Gas Development on Regional Water Quality. Science, Vol 340, No 6134 (access at
  7. Christian Science Monitor, October 2012; South Africa OKs fracking for natural gas (access at
  8. Reuters, March 6 2013, New York State Assembly votes to block fracking until 2015 (access at
  9. Shale Gas Europe, May 2013, the European Resource Centre for Shale Gas, Tight Gas, and Coalbed Methane (access at
  10. United States Environmental Protection Agency, May 9, 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing Background Information (access at
  11. Gregory, Kelvin, Radisav Vidic and David Dzombak, June 2011, Water Management Challenges Associated with the Production of Shale Gas by Hydraulic Fracturing. Elements, Geoscience World, p. 181–186 (access at
  12. Ground Water Protection Council, 2009, Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer, Prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, and National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. DOE Grant DE-FG26-04NT15455, 98 p. (access at
  13. Fisher, Kevin, 2012, Trends Take Fracturing “Back to the Future”: American Oil and Gas Reporter, 55 (8): p. 86-97.
  14. King, George E., 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing 101: What Every Representative, Environmentalist, Regulator, Reporter, Investor, University Researcher, Neighbor and Engineer Should Know about Estimating Frac Risk and Improving Frac Performance in Unconventional Gas and Oil Wells: Society of Petroleum Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Document 152596 (access at
  15. United States Energy Information Administration, May 2, 2013, Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (access at
  16. FracFocus: Chemical Disclosure Registry, National Groundwater Association, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission: (access at
  17. United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Minority Staff, April 2011. Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing (access at
  18. United State Environmental Protection Agency, Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (access at
  19. United States Environmental Protection Agency, December 2012 progress report, Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources (access at
  20. Cooley, Heather, and Kristina Donnelly, 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction, Pacific Institute, 34 p.
  21. Davies, Richard J., October 25, 2011, Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Caused by Hydraulic Fracturing Remains Unproven, Proceedings of National Academy of Science (access at
  22. Jackson, Robert B., S.G. Osborn, A. Vengosh, and N.R. Warner, October 25, 2011, Reply to Davies: Hydraulic Fracturing Remains a Possible Mechanism for Observed Methane Contamination of Drinking Water, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (access at
  23. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Draft Investigation of Ground Water Contamination Near Pavillion, Wyoming. 2011 (access at:
  24. Molofsky, Lisa, John A. Conner, Albert S. Wylie, Tom Wagner, and Shahla Farhat, May 2013; Evaluation of Methane Sources in Groundwater in Northeast Pennsylvania. Groundwater, Vol 51, No. 3, p. 333–349. NGWA.
  25. Osborne, Stephen G., A. Vengosh, N. R. Warner, and R. B. Jackson, 2011, Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108 (20): 8172-8176 (access at
  26. Anderson, Fred, January 2013, Natural Gas Occurrence in Private Water Supply Wells Confirmed in North Dakota, in GeoNews, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.
  27. Kappel, William M., and E.A. Nystrom, 2012, Dissolved Methane in New York Groundwater, 1999-2011, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1162, 6 p. (access at
  28. Warner, N.R., R.B. Jackson, T.H. Darraha, S.G. Osborn, A. Down, K. Zhao, A. White, and A. Vengosh, 2012, Geochemical Evidence for Possible Natural Migration of Marcellus Formation Brine to Shallow Aquifers in Pennsylvanian, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 109 (30): p. 11,961–11,966.
  29. Suchy, D.R. and K.D. Newell, 2013, Hydraulic Fracturing of Oil and Gas Wells in Kansas. Public Information Circular (PIC) 32, Kansas Geological Survey (access at
  30. Kansas Corporation Commission, January 2013, Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Status Report (access at
  31. Associated Press, April 16, 2012, More water protection from Marcellus shale suggested for Pennsylvania (access at
  32. Maloney, Kelly O., and D.A. Yoztheimer, December 2012, Production and Disposal of Waste Materials form Gas and Oil Extraction from the Marcellus Shale Play in Pennsylvania: Environmental Practice, Vol 14, Issue 4, p. 278–287 (access at
  33. National Research Council of the National Academies, 2012, Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies: National Academies Press, 225 p.
  34. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, May 1, 2013, Model Sampling and Analysis Plan, State of Colorado (access at
  35. National Ground Water Association, 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing: Meeting the Nation’s Energy Needs While Protecting Groundwater Resources (access at
  36. Olmstead, Sheila, L. Muehlenbachs, J. Shih, Z. Chu, and A. Krupnick, March 26, 2013. Shale Gas Development Impacts on Surface Water Quality in Pennsylvania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, No. 13, p. 4962–4967 (access at
  37. Mantell, Mark, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, March 2011, Produced Water Reuse and Recycling Challenges and Opportunities Across Major Shale Plays, presentation at EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Technical Workshop #4, Water Resources Management, March 29–30, 2011 (access at
  38. Warpinski, N.R., R.C. Kramm, J.R. Heinze, and C.K. Waltman, 2005, Comparison of Single- and Dual-Array Microseismic Mapping Techniques in the Barnett Shale, Society of Petroleum Engineers international, From SPE 95568. Copyright 2005, SPE.
  39. Healy, J.H., W.W. Rubey, D.T. Griggs, and C.B. Raleigh, 1968, The Denver Earthquakes: Science, v. 161, no. 3848: 1301-1310 (access at
  40. Keranen, Katie, H. Savage, G. Abers, and E. Cochran, March 26, 2013. Potentially induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA: links between wastewater injection and the 2011 Mw 5.7 Earthquake. Geology, doi: 10.1130G34045 (access at
  41. Howard, G.C., and C.R. Fast, 1970, Hydraulic Fracturing: Monograph 2 of the Henry L. Doherty Series, Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, New York, 210 p., ISBN 0-89520-201-8.
  42. The Economist, June 2, 2012, Gas Goes Boom (access at
  43. New York Times, October 21, 2013, An Odd Alliance in Patagonia (access at
  44. The Globe and Mail, August 21, 2013. Taking the water out of fracking (access at
  45. Ellsworth, William L., July 12, 2013. Injection-Induced Earthquakes. Science, Vol 341, no. 6142 (access at

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