A Case Study - Hydraulic Fracturing Geography: The case of the Eagle Ford Shale, TX, USA
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The use of horizontal drilling in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing has increased the ability of producers to extract natural gas and oil from previously non-viable areas. By extracting natural gas and oil from low permeability geologic plays, or shale plays, the United States may have enough natural gas to burn for the next one hundred years. However, there are growing concerns about the effect hydraulic fracturing may have on the environment and surrounding ecosystems. These activities cause an increased potential for surface water contamination resulting from spills, leaks, soil erosion, large amounts of truck traffic, and habitat disturbance. With increasing amounts of hydraulic fracturing activity in the Eagle Ford structure, there is a greater chance that a spill may occur and cause adverse effects on the hydrologic processes in the area. In order to determine the risk spills pose to hydrologic processes, hydraulic fracturing wells were identified and mapped to show the distance from wells to streams as well as determining that spills in the Eagle Ford structure were not spatially auto-correlated.