The combined use of hydraulic fracturing (HF) and directional drilling for unconventional oil and gas production has driven a resurgence of hydrocarbon production in the United States. This technique, which allows hydrocarbon production from large shale formations, has had beneficial effects on the nation’s economy over the past decade.
These benefits, however, are accompanied by continuing concerns about environmental impacts potentially related to the rapid and significant expansion in the use of modern, high-volume HF. Technology that enhances oil and gas production and helps fuel a healthy economy must be balanced with public health priorities, including adequate supplies of clean and safe drinking water.
Since 2002, Cadmus has supported this critical issue by providing research and analysis support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on HF. We examine HF as it relates to drinking water resources, with a focus on specific issues such as the important role of well integrity and HF wastewater management. We enrich our expertise in HF with our more than three decades of technical and policy work directly supporting all of EPA’s core drinking water regulatory programs and its Underground Injection Control program.
Through our technical and policy expertise and extensive research in the field of HF, we interact with a wide range of stakeholders on technical and policy issues, and identify and implement strategies that protect drinking water resources at the community level.
Our HF support is based on state-of-the-science research, data acquisition and analyses, and an in-depth practical knowledge of the relevant guidance, best management practices, and regulations. We deliver scientifically sound research and policy consultation to help our clients make critical decisions concerning the nation’s energy and water resources.
Representative projects include:
- Analysis of HF water and chemical use based on data from 40,000 HF wells for which data was submitted to the FracFocus Registry, published in the Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Data from the FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry.
- Extensive research, management of Confidential Business Information data, and report preparation for EPA’s Review of Well Operator Files for Hydraulically Fractured Oil and Gas Production Wells: Well Design and Construction. This project characterized HF wells nationally, using well construction and operation data submitted by well operators for more than 23,000 wells in 2009 and 2010.
- All technical and policy support for the development and publication of EPA’s Revised Guidance: Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels: Underground Injection Control Program Guidance #84.