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Wastewater Issues to Influence U.S. Shale Growth

Hydraulic fracturing, very popular oil extraction and production technology that is the primary cause for making the United States the world’s leading oil and gas producer, has unfortunately been surrounded with bad publicity. The technology’s bad reputation is due to the rising seismic activities in the Shale oil and gas regions.

However, according to research cited by the U.S. Geological Survey published a couple of years back, the Shale is not fracking itself, which is the main concern. A major point of concern is the disposal of wastewater, which has not been solved yet. Earlier in June, Rystad Energy issued a warning via one of its reports that the number of seismic events occurring across key oil-producing regions has escalated significantly.

Wastewater Issues to Influence U.S. Shale GrowthThere have also been records establishing that since 2017, quakes reaching a magnitude of more than 2.0 have quadrupled. This scenario of seismic activities will only continue to grow this year; according to the Rystad analysts, there will be zero improvements if the U.S. oil and gas industry resumes the ongoing production of hydrocarbons.

The amount of water utilized in drilling and Shale oil and gas wells ranges widely from 1.5 million gallons to somewhere about 16 million gallons, stated by the U.S. Geological Survey.But the analysis was made several years ago, and the extensive water usage trend has only grown over time with increasing fracking activities. Following the drilling and fracking procedures, the used water or produced water is let out in underground injection wells, increasing the odds of seismic events.

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