Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells has been used for more than 60 years as a recovery technique that can make otherwise non-economic wells financially viable. Since the turn of this century, the increased use of hydraulic fracturing operations has led to a renaissance in the natural gas drilling and production industry in shale gas and coal-bed methane regions. Increased use of hydraulic fracturing has raised concern and debate regarding the potential effects on human health and the environment. Through scientific publications, conference presentations, courses and webinars, and as members of science advisory boards, Exponent’s experts are recognized leaders in understanding the environmental, ecological, atmospheric, health, and mechanical issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing.

This multi-disciplinary expertise enables us to provide efficient and effective consulting services to address challenging questions related to hydraulic fracturing, including: 

Natural Gas Geochemistry
  • Evaluation of baseline conditions
  • Isotope analysis to investigate sources of natural gas and migration pathways 

Groundwater and Surface Water
  • Evaluation of baseline conditions
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Evaluation of impact claims (e.g., chemical fingerprinting to track sources of compounds)

  • Evaluation of toxicity of completion and stimulation fluids
  • Health and environmental risk assessments

Produced Water and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) 
  • Evaluation of treatment options
  • Treatment at surface facilities, permitting, and waste disposal

Atmospheric Sciences
  • Air dispersion modeling
  • Impoundment emission analysis
  • Human and environmental risk assessment

Gas Well Drilling, Completions, and Operations
  • Well design and construction
  • Cementing operations and cement bond logs
  • Casing corrosion and stress analysis
  • Gas sealing integrity evaluation 
  • Casing metallurgy and strength.



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