Comparative Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas in the UK

Lead Academic Tom Lynch Leeds

Alistair Boxall York

Lorraine Maltby Sheffield

The potential mechanism for pollution of groundwater from shale gas production is through the contamination of groundwater with hydraulic fracturing fluids and gas (methane) from rock fractures and wellbore casing failure. There is significant uncertainty around the potential of this proposed mechanism to pollute the environment (Vidic et al., 2013; Vengosh et al., 2014). In order to fully understand the source, mechanism and hazard of fracking activities in the UK, and the pollution context within which this sits (i.e. does fracking have the potential to be a significant contributor to groundwater pollution in the UK?), a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach is needed. Therefore, the main output of this proposal is to bring together leading and early stage researchers from the White Rose network in order to develop a conceptual risk framework for the Bowland Shale formation under a number of hydraulic fracturing scenarios – this will allow our researchers to determine what the unknowns are in terms of source, hazard, mechanism and the overall potential of pollution to groundwater from fracking.

Other members of staff associated with this project

Professor Quentin Fisher (Leeds, Professor)
Dr Kadambari Lokesh (SEI-York, Research Associate)
Dr Domenico Bau (Sheffield, Senior Lecturer