The associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute says he agrees with the findings of a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The Department of Energy told the Associated Press the study shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site.
After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said.
Eric Smith with the Energy Institute tells 99.5FM, "the findings are in line with what the industry would have expected a dispassionate analysis to produce."
"The gas that we're after is so much deeper and in deeper formations than the potable drinking water, which is typically within a thousand feet of the surface, Smith said.
Smith says fracking is a well known process in energy states like Louisiana and Texas but not so well known in Pennsylvania. In Louisiana, fracking is done mainly in the northwest corner of the state, in the Haynesville shale area.