Early tests don't find tainted water from oil boom

November 17, 2014 by Matthew Brown

Government scientists say initial tests of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains oil patch found no evidence of contamination from an energy boom that's already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled.

But the scientists caution that the results were unlikely to pick up contamination from surface spills or leaking well casings because the water they tested was from aquifers that predate oil and .

The U.S. Geological Survey study released Monday looked at 30 domestic water wells in North Dakota and Montana.

Researchers found no evidence of contamination by methane, saltwater brine or other drilling byproducts.

USGS hydrologist Rod Caldwell says more research is needed to assess the continuing impacts of energy development. As many as 60,000 more wells could be drilled in coming decades.

Explore further: Wetland contamination can be predicted in oil boom states, study finds

Related Stories

Landmark fracking study finds no water pollution

September 16, 2014

The final report from a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has found no evidence that chemicals or brine water from the gas drilling process moved upward to contaminate drinking water at one site ...

Drought threatens US fracking industry

February 6, 2014

The two years of drought in the central United States is placing strains on the water-intense oil and gas fracking industry, according to a new study Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Physicists reveal why matter dominates universe

March 21, 2019

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have confirmed that matter and antimatter decay differently for elementary particles containing charmed quarks.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.