May 2nd, 2013 By German Lopez | News | Posted In: News, Energy, Environment

Fracking Flourishing in Water-Stressed Areas

Interactive map shows Ohio counties are part of national trend

Boom, Bust or Both?

A new interactive map shows hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is flourishing in U.S. areas where water is already scarce — a potentially bad sign for Ohio counties that are allowing the water-intensive drilling process within their own borders.

The map from advocacy group Ceres shows northeast Ohio counties with fracking activity are made up of low, medium-to-high and high stress areas, with most of the identified fracking wells in medium-to-high and high stress areas.

The website explains Ohio's experience is actually better than the national trend: "In the map below, one can see that almost half (47 percent) of shale gas and oil wells are being developed in regions with high to extremely high water stress.

This means that more than 80 percent of the annual available water is being withdrawn by municipal, industrial and agricultural users in these regions. Overall, 75 percent of wells are located in regions with medium or higher baseline water stress levels."

Fracking is a relatively new drilling process that involves pumping millions of gallons of water underground to fracture shale and reveal oil and gas reserves. CityBeat previously covered Ohio's fracking boom in further detail here.

05.02.2013 at 03:08 Reply

Fracking has been around since just after WW2.  It's not a recent development.  All wells are fracked.

Horizontal drilling is a recent technology that has allowed shale to be drilled and oil & natural gas to be collected.  The previous method of vertical drilling only allowed a pay zone the width of the shale. Now the drilling goes for thousands of feet through the shale allowing for huge pay zones.  

Main reason natural gas was $12 and is now $4.


05.02.2013 at 03:17

That's why I said relatively. There's also been recent developments that have made fracking easier and better, like you said.