Shale gas: New studies fuel debate on risks of fracking

Water contamination is one risk (photo:dpa)
Water contamination is one risk (photo:dpa)

Four new studies have been published into the risks of extracting shale gas using an extraction method known as fracking in which fractures are created in rock formations by injecting fluid into the cracks to get the gas out. The first in a two-part series on the continuing debate on fracking looks at the results of the four studies.

THE EUROPEAN Commission published two new reports on the risks of unconventional gas exploration using the hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking, as it is commonly known, in August and September 2012. One looked at the environment and human health. Another focussed on its impact on the Earth's climate.

Two other reports were publishe...

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