This presentation reviews environmental issues raised in recent lawsuits by litigants opposing hydrofracturing and provides a technical update on what we know and don’t know about the issues and claims. This paper presents a summary of what we now know about induced seismicity and earthquake events, include the Oklahoma Geology Society consensus, as well as what we now know about methane emissions, other air emissions, brine contamination, and selected examples of recent litigation outcomes in Texas, Mexico, and the United States, including Texas and US Supreme Court rulings. This paper also provides highlights of recent U.S. EPA and Canadian-sponsored HSE research regarding shale production issues, including the latest research regarding escape of pollutants and gases from injection zones. This paper adds recent pertinent information to that presented in previous papers in this series, including an overview of recent technological developments (such as remote monitors, drone surveys and ground water baseline networks) and safe HSE practices successfully employed to facilitate permitting.

Primary Author/Presenter:
Richard Bost
12M Associates, LLC
Waller, Texas