PA Marcellus Gas Drillers Close to Recycling 100 Percent of Wastewater, Now Use Just a Few Chemicals in Fracking

One of the chief objections of those who oppose drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is the amount of water used in drilling—an average of 3-4 million gallons per well. Environmentalists raise the alarm of sourcing the water from rivers and streams, and the disposal of what’s left over.

Here’s how the numbers break down: It takes between 100,000 and 300,000 gallons of water during the drilling process itself, and another 3-4 million gallons of water gets mixed with sand and chemicals and pumped in under pressure to fracture the shale, releasing the gas. Anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of the water comes back out—something called “flowback.”

Continue reading