Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
INVESTIGATION OF WATER QUALITY IN AREAS OF UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
Both domestic oil and gas production and clean water are critical for economic growth, public health, and national security of the United States. As domestic oil and gas production increases in new areas and old fields are enhanced, there is increasing public concern about the effects of energy production on surface-water and groundwater-quality. To a great extent, this concern arises from the improved hydraulic fracturing techniques being used today, including horizontal drilling, for producing unconventional oil and gas in low-permeability formations. Despite nearly 150 years of oil and gas development in the United States, unanswered questions remain as to the effects of unconventional oil and gas development on regional water quality. Here we use existing national datasets and input from National and regional subject matter experts to: (1) better understand the spatial distribution of unconventional oil and gas development and resources in the U.S., (2) broadly assess water-quality trends in areas of unconventional oil and gas development, (3) develop datasets reflecting current baseline concentrations of major ions in surface water and groundwater in areas of unconventional oil and gas and hydraulic fracturing, and (4) identify data gaps and recommend future research to better understand the effects of unconventional oil and gas development on water quality.