Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )

Between 100,000 and 120,000 wells were drilled and fraced from 2011 to 2014, but few led to issues with drinking waterrig_cool_clouds

A draft assessment released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today claims that “hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources,” according to an EPA press release.

The assessment compiles date from 950 sources of published information, published papers, technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports. It found that while there are some instances in which hydraulic fracturing impacted drinking water, they happened very infrequently when considering the number of wells present across the U.S.

The EIA estimates that 25,000-30,000 new wells drilled and hydraulically fractured annually in the United States between 2011 and 2014, or between 100,000 and 120,000 wells, excluding those that were drilled prior to 2011. Between 2000 and 2013, approximately 6,800 sources of drinking water for public water systems were located within one mile of a hydraulically fractured well. These drinking water sources served more than 8.6 million people year-round in 2013, according to the EPA.

“EPA’s draft assessment will give state regulators, tribes and local communities and industry around the country a critical resource to identify how best to protect public health and their drinking water resources,” said Dr. Thomas A. Burke, EPA’s Science Advisor and deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

The EPA did outline some areas of potential vulnerabilities, some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing, which included:

  • Water withdrawals in areas with low water availability;
  • Hydraulic fracturing conducted directly into formations containing drinking water resources;
  • Inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below ground migration of gases and liquids;
  • Inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources;
  • And Spills of hydraulic fluids and hydraulic fracturing wastewater, including flowback and produced water.

Important disclosures: The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, EnerCom, Inc. makes no representation or warranty as to its completeness or accuracy. EnerCom’s conclusions are based upon information gathered from sources deemed to be reliable. This note is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or financial instrument of any company mentioned in this note. This note was prepared for general circulation and does not provide investment recommendations specific to individual investors. All readers of the note must make their own investment decisions based upon their specific investment objectives and financial situation utilizing their own financial advisors as they deem necessary. Investors should consider a company’s entire financial and operational structure in making any investment decisions. Past performance of any company discussed in this note should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future results. EnerCom is a multi-disciplined management consulting services firm that regularly intends to seek business, or currently may be undertaking business, with companies covered on Oil & Gas 360®, and thereby seeks to receive compensation from these companies for its services. In addition, EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of these companies. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this note. EnerCom, or its principals or employees, may have an economic interest in any of the companies covered in this report or on Oil & Gas 360®. As a result, readers of EnerCom’s reports or Oil & Gas 360® should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report.