Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nicholas School “Fracking” Study Among Top Five Most-Read Papers on PNAS Website

Jul 11, 2011
Contact: Tim Lucas at (919) 613-8084 or

DURHAM, N.C. – A recent study by Duke University researchers that found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites is one of the top five most-read papers on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website.
The study was published in the PNAS Early Online edition in May and has generated widespread interest in scientific, industry and environmental circles, and more than 1,700 media stories worldwide.

It is the first peer-reviewed study to measure well-water contamination from shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking.

Authors Stephen Osborn, Robert B. Jackson, Avner Vengosh and Nathaniel Warner, all of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, collected and analyzed water samples from 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York.

It found find measurable amounts of methane in 85 percent of the samples,. Those levels were 17 times higher on average in wells located within a kilometer of active hydrofracking sites. The contamination was observed primarily in Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania. Water wells farther from the gas wells contained lower levels of methane and had a different isotopic fingerprint.


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