Polish Study: Fracking Not Harmful to Poland's Environment
A Polish governmental study released today has found that hydraulic fracturing on Poland's first shale gas exploration well has had no effect on the environment so far.
The study, conducted by the Polish Geological Institute, focused on the Lebien LE-2H well operated by 3Legs Resources, which is located in the Baltic Basin. The findings concluded that no damage had been done to the air, water or soil surrounding the well as a result of the firm's fracking activities.
"The studies were comprehensive, covering air, soil gas, surface water and usable ground water, soil, noise level and ground vibrations," the report said. "Special attention was paid to the presence of the major component of natural gas, that is methane, and radioactive radon."
The study found that the company had conducted its operations in such a way as to minimise the " risk of negative impact on groundwater", and found that the large amounts of water used in the fracking operation had not decreased groundwater reserves in the well area.
The company also dealt with the injected fluids and the associated waste and flowback fluids appropriately, the study found, with the appropriate waste treated as industrial waste.
The presence of methane, which might have indicated a leak in the well, or radon was not detected in the study.
The studies were carried out from June 13 till October 13, 2011, under the orders of the Polish Ministry of the Environment.
The news will be welcome to Poland's government, which has sought to make shale gas exploration attractive to foreign investors in recent years and months and to become the "second Norway", as the Polish Geological Institute describes it.