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The little girls cruising on the Barbie line will be able to enjoy activities like the Barbie movie night, Chesapeake Energy Corp. which has large oil and gas stakes in Pennsylvania supplied the researchers with the database the largest of its kind and also funded the work Fracking relies on the high-pressure injection of water sand and other chemicals to create microfractures in rock formations thereby making it easier to draw out oil and gas The term is also used more generally to describe a host of unconventional extraction techniques such as horizontal drilling which have helped make the United States the top producer of crude oil in the world The Marcellus Shale formation an organic-rich mudstone running from West Virginia to New York was one of the first to be exploited by fracking But the process has been dogged by concerns over its environmental impact and also its impacts on the climate because any leaking methane acts as a powerful greenhouse gas Some of those fears were stoked after the 2011 and 2013 well water studies which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) The two papers seemed to show that fracking was leading to increased concentrations of methane in drinking water Dissolved methane is not toxic and drinking water often contains significant background levels of the gas from natural sources But that was cold comfort to residents of Dimock Pennsylvania who were shown in the documentary Gasland igniting the flammable gas that came out along with water from their household faucets A December 2014 New York State health department study cited the 2011 PNAS study in its review of the impacts of fracking which found that there were potential water quality hazards Governor Andrew Cuomo then banned fracking in the state But Siegel says that all of these fears are overblown His study found natural backgrounds of methane in well water but no trend related to the proximity of 661 oil and gas wells “We found plenty of methane—and that’s the whole point” he says referring to natural sources of the gas Siegel doesn’t deny that there have been problems with a few wells with poorly engineered steel casings or cracked and degraded cement walls designed to keep the boreholes from leaking Such defective borehole walls can provide a conduit for the methane to move from the shale formation more than a kilometer underground to water wells just a hundred meters or so below the surface But he says his study shows that it is an exceedingly rare issue “We haven’t seen any evidence [of methane migration] other than the occasional local issue” he says “I think our paper in my view pretty much seals the deal” Siegel believes the PNAS studies led by Robert Jackson a hydrogeologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto California painted a more worrisome picture because their small sample set was skewed toward locations with known well-casing issues “I’ve always felt that the Jackson group studies have been highly flawed” Siegel says Jackson however contests that characterization and argues that Siegel’s larger sample size doesn’t necessarily make for a better study He says it is unclear whether the Chesapeake samples were measured at the water well itself or inside houses after the water may have had time to release its methane fumes or after it has passed through purification systems He also points out that the water samples were collected using the “inverted bottle” technique a method avoided by many academic labs because it can lead to lower measured values of methane in samples with the highest levels of the gas because it allows the methane to percolate out of solution “They’ve introduced a whole series of methods that introduced noise into the dataset” Jackson says He adds that in a trip to Chesapeake headquarters in Oklahoma in 2011 he offered to collaborate with the company using the large data set but was rebuffed Bert Smith a co-author on the new study and a former employee of Chesapeake who now works as a consultant says he initially approached the US Geological Survey with the company’s data set but the agency declined He then asked Siegel to collaborate on the study For all their disagreements scientists on both sides of the fracking debate agree that it is very unlikely that microfracturing of rock formation itself contributes to the vertical migration of gases The problem they say is with a minority of badly cased or cemented wells—they just disagree on how often this occurs Siegel cites a 2014 study that found that just 024% of the thousands of wells in northeast Pennsylvania were ever given violation notices related to the migration of methane into groundwater But Anthony Ingraffea a civil engineer at Cornell University who is alarmed by the risks of fracking says those violation notices are just the tip of the iceberg He points to a study he led published in PNAS in 2014 which found that 9% of unconventional wells drilled in northeast Pennsylvania since 2009 already have structural integrity issues That problem will grow he says as wells age and as tens of thousands of new wells are bored “We’re just at the beginning” Ingraffea says Siegel says he plans to publish three more studies using the Chesapeake data One will examine the connections between background methane and the hydrogeological setting and another will look at other chemical constituents in ground water A third will take a focused look at how methane levels vary over time in 12 homes in which water wells were instrumented and monitored around the clock for 1 to 2 years Terry Engelder a geologist at Pennsylvania State University University Park who was among the first to recognize the economic potential of the Marcellus Shale formation says that large data sets like the one Siegel is working with is at least one benefit of the whole fracking controversy “We’ve learned more about groundwater chemistry in northeast Pennsylvania than any other place in the world” he 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votesparticularly from actorswho love it when one of their own succeeds behind the camera The story of how HollywoodCanada and the CIA teamed up to rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisisArgo would become just the fourth film in 85 years to claim the top prize without a best-directing nomination and the first since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy For all the latest Entertainment News download shlf1314n Express App More Related NewsUpdated: February 22 2017 11:55 am The company has announced that the Black version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 will be available on Micom on March 1 Related News Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4 will go on sale on Micom and Flipkart at 12 PM today Three versions of the phone will be on sale on both these sites The the 2GB+32GB storage RAM variant is priced Rs 9999 3GB RAM+32GB storage variant costs Rs 10999 and the 4GB RAM+64GB version is available at Rs 12999?758 kilometers of survey lines, See more ScienceShots.he started calling from different numbers.
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