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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. The Economist, June 2, 2012, Gas Goes Boom. (access at:
  8. New York Times, October 21, 2013, An Odd Alliance in Patagonia. (access at:
  9. Christian Science Monitor, October 2012; South Africa OKs fracking for natural gas. (access at
  10. Bloomberg Businessweek, January 19, 2012; Bulgaria Bans Gas Fracking, Thwarting Chevron Drilling Plan. (Access at:
  11. New York Times, October 11, 2013; France Upholds ban on Hydraulic Fracturing (access at:
  12. New York Times, December 17, 2014; Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State. (Access at:
  13. New York State Department of Health, December 2014, A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development. (access at:
  14. Stern, Paul C., Rapporteur, 2014, Risks and Risk Governance in Shale Gas Development: Summary of Two Workshops, National Research Council, National Academies Press (Access at:
  15. United States Environmental Protection Agency, May 9, 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing Background Information, (access at:
  16. 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, pgs 181-186. (access at:
  17. 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:
  18. Fisher, Kevin, 2012, Trends Take Fracturing “Back to the Future”: American Oil and Gas Reporter, 55 (8): 86-97.
  19. Scanlon, B.R., R.C. Reedy and J.P.Nicot, 2014. Comparison of Water Use for Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas versus Conventional Oil. Environmental Science Technology, vol 48, pg 12386-12393.
  20. 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:
  21. United States Energy Information Administration, May 7, 2014, Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (access at
  22. United States Energy Information Administration, December 9, 2014, Short Term Energy Outlook (access at:
  23. FracFocus: Chemical Disclosure Registry, National Groundwater Association, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission: (access at:
  24. United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Minority Staff, April 2011. Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing. (access at:
  25. United State Environmental Protection Agency, Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act. (Access at:
  26. United States Environmental Protection Agency, December 2012 progress report, Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources; (accessed at
  27. Cooley, Heather, and Kristina Donnelly, 2012, Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction, Pacific Institute, 34 p.
  28. 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:
  29. 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: )
  30. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 8, 2011, Draft Investigation of Ground Water Contamination Near Pavillion, Wyoming. (access at:
  31. 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, pgs 333--349. NGWA.
  32. 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:
  33. Anderson, Fred, January 2013, Natural Gas Occurrence in Private Water Supply Wells Confirmed in North Dakota, in GeoNews, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.
  34. 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:
  35. 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): 11961-11966.
  36. Darrah, T.H., A. Vengosh, R.B Jackson, N.R. Warner, and R.J. Poreda, September 2014; Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (39): 14076-14081.
  37. Suchy, Dan 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:
  38. Kansas Corporation Commission, January 2013, Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Status Report (access at:
  39. Associated Press, April 16, 2012, More water protection from Marcellus shale suggested for Pennsylvania (access at:
  40. 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, pp 278-287. (access at:
  41. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, May 1, 2013, Model Sampling and Analysis Plan, State of Colorado. (access at:
  42. National Ground Water Association, July 2014, Hydraulic Fracturing: Meeting the Nation’s Energy Needs While Protecting Groundwater Resources (access at
  43. ALS, Fracking regulations by State. (access at:
  44. 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, pg 4962-4967. (access at:
  45. Maupin, Molly, J.F. Kenny, S.S.Hutson, J.K.Lovelace, N.L. Barber, and K.S. Linsey, November, 2014. Estimated Use of Wter in the United States in 2010, Circular 1405, United States Geological Survey. (Access at:
  46. 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:
  47. The Globe and Mail, August 21, 2013. Taking the water out of fracking. (access at:
  48. National Research Council of the National Academies, 2012, Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies: National Academies Press, 225 p.
  49. 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.
  50. Ellsworth, William, J. Robertson, and C. Hook, January 17, 2014, Man Made Earthquake (access at:
  51. 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:
  52. Buchanan, Rex, K.D. Newell, C.S. Evans and R.D. Miller, April 2014, Induced Seismicity: The Potential for Triggered Earthquakes in Kansas. Kansas Geological Survey, Public Information Circular 36 (Access at:
  53. 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,
  54. 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
  55. Ellsworth, William L., July 12, 2013. Injection-Induced Earthquakes. Science, Vol 341, no. 6142. (Access at:
  56. Alley, W.M, Bair, E.S., and Wireman, M., “Deep” groundwater: Groundwater, v. 51, no. 5, pg. 653-654.
  57. U.S. Government Accountability Office, October 1, 2014; Natural Gas: Federal Approval Process for Liquefied Natural Gas Exports GAO-14-762: Published: Sep 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 1, 2014. (Access at:
  58. Bloomberg Business, November 6, 2014; U.S. Natural Gas Exports Will Fire Up in 2015. (Access at:
  59. The Christian Science Monitor, November 19, 2014. How Russia could derail US natural gas exports. (Access at:
  60. Brufatto C, Cochran J, Power LCD, El-Zeghaty SZAA, Fraboulet B, Griffin T, Munk S, Justus F, Levine J, Montgomery C, Murphy D, Pfeiffer J, Pornpoch T, Rishmani L., Autumn 2003; From Mud to Cement: Building Gas Wells. Schlumberger OilField Review, pgs. 62–76.
  61. Richard J. Davies, S. Almond, R. S. Ward, R.B. Jackson, C. Adams, F. Worrall, L.G.Herringshaw, J.G. Gluyas, M.A. Whitehead, September 2014; Oil and gas wells and their integrity: Implications for Shale and unconventional resource exploitation. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 56, pgs. 239-254.
  62. John L. Thorogood, P.L Younger, January 2015; Discussion of “Oil and gas wells and their integrity: Implications for shale and unconventional resource exploitation” by R. J. Davies, S. Almond, R.S. Ward, R.B. Jackson, C. Adams, F. . Worrall, L.G. Herringshaw, J.G. Gluyas, M.A. Whitehead. (Marine and Petroleum Geoogy 2014). Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 59, pgs. 671-673.
  63. R.J. Davies, S. Almond, R. Ward, R.B. Jackson, C. Adams, F. Worrall, L.G. Herringshaw, J.G. Gluyas, January 2015; Reply: “Oil and gas wells and their integrity: implications for shale and unconventional resource exploitation”. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 59, pgs .674-675.
  64. Rex Buchanan, January 26, 2015; Kansas Geological Survey Testimony. Kansas Legislature, House Standing Committee on Energy and Environment. With attachments. (Access at: )
  65. U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey, joint press release, May 2 2014. Record Number of Oklahoma Tremors Raises Possibility of Damaging Earthquakes. (access at:
  66. United States Government Accountability Office, Sept 23, 2014; Characterization of Injected Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production. (Access at:
  67. National Association of County & City Health Officials, November 2014.  Hydraulic Fracturing: What Local Health Departments Need to Know. Issue Brief, 8 pgs.
  68. Trevor M. Penning, P. Breysse, K.Gray, M. Howard and B. Yan, 2014, Environmental Health Research Recommendations from the Inter-Environmental Health Sciences Core Center Working Group on Unconventional Natural Gas Drilling Operations. Environmental Health Perspectives, National Insititute of Environmental Health Sciences, 23p.

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