Can hydraulic fracturing impact the quality of groundwater or surface water?

Conducted properly, hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) has little possibility of contaminating water supplies. Properly constructed wells prevent drilling fluids, hydraulic fracturing fluids, deep saline formation waters, or oil and gas from entering aquifers. Carefully constructed and operated well sites have the ability to contain potential spills and minimize runoff into surface waters.

As with any industrial process, accidents can occur. In particular, improperly constructed wells can allow fluids to migrate up from deep formations and into shallow aquifers, and improperly contained surface spills can potentially contaminate surface water.

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How and where do drillers dispose of waste hydraulic fracturing fluid?

Most of the water and additives used in hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) remain deep underground in the geologic formation from which the oil or gas is being extracted. But some of the fluid, mixed with water or brine from the formation, returns through the well to the surface and is referred to as “produced water”. After a well is brought on-...

Are other countries using hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction?

Yes, hydraulic fracturing is being used extensively in Canada and is increasingly being used in countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. Learn more: Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Earthquakes