Evidence of Unconventional Oil and Gas Wastewater Found in Surface Waters Near Underground Injection Site
Evidence indicating the presence of waste waters from unconventional oil and gas production was found in surface waters and sediments near an underground injection well near Fayetteville, West Virginia, according to two recent studies by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Missouri, and Duke University.
These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site. The studies did not assess how the waste waters were able to migrate from the disposal site to the surface stream. The unconventional oil and gas waste water that was injected in the site came from coalbed methane and shale gas wells.
“Deep well injection is widely used by industry for the disposal of waste waters produced during unconventional oil and gas extraction,” said USGS scientist Denise Akob, lead author on the current study. “Our results demonstrate that activities at disposal facilities can potentially impact the quality of adjacent surface waters.”