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Lemons into Lemonade: Dirty Mine Water Used for Fracking

Rigzone reports that Seneca is using contaminated water from an old coal mine for fracking:

“Seneca Resources Corporation, the exploration and production (E&P) arm of National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG – NYSE) of Williamstown, N.Y., is utilizing water from an abandoned coal mine in the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania.”

Key points of the article:

“While Pennsylvania has ample fresh water resources, the company decided instead to utilize acidic water from a coal mine in Arnot, Penn., that was abandoned many years ago. Water flowing from the mine was polluting Johnson Creek, a local trout stream, and causing orange discoloration of the creek bed. The contaminated water also flows into the Tioga River. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) ranked the contaminated water, flowing from the Arnot mine into the Tioga, fifth in a report of the top 20 most severe discharges in terms of pollutant load impacting the Upper Tioga River Watershed.

Seneca decided to target this contaminated water flow as a source of frack water, turning the abandoned mine into a “lemons into lemonade” tale. Seneca got permission from SRBC to draw 500,000 gallons per day of the mine run-off water for its fracking operations. By using this water, Seneca is reducing the amount of contaminated mine water flowing into Johnson Creek and the Tioga River.”

The environmental concerns about fracking won’t go away anytime soon. Oil & Gas has written about green fracking solutions here and here.

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