Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Hydraulic fracturing is a well stimulation operation in which fluids are pumped through a well and into low-permeability formations at sufficiently high pressure to create new fractures in rock, or to open existing natural fractures, so that greater volumes of oil or natural gas can be produced. Exponent has a broad range of technical expertise, including an understanding of petroleum engineering, fluid composition, and potential environmental and human health consequences of releasing hydraulic fracturing fluids. Our team has expertise and prior experience with:


  • Oil and gas drilling and completion engineering, including casing design (stress and deformation analysis), threaded connection reliability and pressure integrity, cement design and operations, cement bond long (CBL) analysis, primary and squeeze cementing operations, logging tool analysis, and pressure testing 
  • Chemical composition and toxicity of completion and stimulation fluids, including natural sand and resin-coated proppants 
  • Natural gas geochemistry 
  • State and federal regulations and proposed regulations 
  • Treatment in surface facilities, permitting, and waste disposal 
  • Risk assessment 
  • Air quality 
  • Subsurface geology 
  • Groundwater and surface-water quality. 

Issues are being raised by community and environmental action groups regarding possible health and environmental effects associated with chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations, as well as with the potential leakage of fracturing fluids into drinking-water aquifers, and the discharge of fracturing fluids after use. Exponent’s engineers and scientists can also facilitate the evaluation of scientific and regulatory aspects of hydraulic fracturing. Our consultants have significant experience working in and consulting for the oil and gas industry, and can provide great value in meeting the challenges with the following capabilities and expertise: 


  • Extensive operational knowledge of oil and gas exploration and production activities and their potential environmental impacts 
  • In-depth, functional knowledge and expertise regarding petroleum engineering, use of disposal pits and ponds, and hydraulic fracturing fluid use 
  • Proven experience on high-profile projects of national and international significance—often in a dispute resolution setting 
  • Scientific expertise in environmental and health perspectives, hazard characterization, chemical risk assessment and regulatory policy, and experience with conducting human health and environmental risk, impact, and baseline assessments.

To review our services in the area of Hydraulic Fracturing Operations, please see our Practices and Industries page.