Oil Boom Threatens Fresh Water Supplies

Crude oil,  natural gas extraction and fracking is an industry which requires large quantities of water. Shale is an even thirstier business and has been draining away the scarce resource which is fresh water.

Scarce resource becoming scarcer

Water is a major cost for drillers and an expensive one. According to Schlumberger, the oil and gas technical expert, as much as ten percent of the cost of a shale gas well comes from water sourcing, transportation and disposal.

The use of water in the process of fracking has meant that water supplies have become strained. It was reported that in some U.S. counties, more than fifty percent of the scarce water resources went towards the processing of shale oil and gas. It is reported that between January 2011 to September 2012, 65.8 billions of gallons of water were used in hydraulic fracturing operations both for oil and gas development and in vertical and horizontal wells across the U.S. This amount represents roughly the water use of 2.5 million Americans for a year.


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