CWaC Working Group Meeting 1 Regulatory Background : Shale Gas vs CBM – The comparison of two evils!

By March 4, 2015 News No Comments

Really not much in it – depends on whether fracking is used for CBM to increase gas flow.

Shale Gas


Air pollution from leaking gases, vehicle traffic, flaring and venting, on-site machinery etc including benzene, toluene, ethylene, xylene, nitrogen monoxide, volatile organic compounds, methane, ethane, sulphur dioxide, ozone and particulate matter.



Large volumes of waste water contaminated by fracking fluids and naturally occurring chemicals leached out from the rock including, organic pollutants, carcinogenic organic compounds, heavy metals, salts, barium, strontium and normally occurring radioactive material such as the highly toxic Radium 226

Yes. SG uses more fracking on the whole and therefore more chemicals. Pumps large volumes of water in.

Yes. Coal seams tend to have higher concentrations of naturally occurring contaminants. Pumps large volumes of water out.

Effects on groundwater and aquifers

Fracking causes fractures in the rock leading to potential pathways for contaminants and escaping gas to reach water supplies.

Coal seams tend to be shallower and closer to aquifers than SG so has a greater likelihood of causing contamination to drinking water especially if fracking is used. CBM extraction also affects pressures, flows and levels of surrounding groundwater

Well failure and methane leakage

Yes, all wells leak eventually. Fracking exacerbates the problem. Earthquakes can also lead to well-failure

Yes. Dewatering of the coal seam increases the risk of gas seepage to aquifers, water wells and surface soil.

Seismic activity or subsidence

Earthquakes can be caused by the fracking process or injection of waste water.

Subsidence possible due to dewatering of coal seam.

Industrialisation of the countryside. Production of wells declines very quickly meaning huge areas of land are covered with well pads. Several wells are needed per square mile, plus pipelines, access roads and thousands of HGV tankers on the roads.



Adverse impacts on environment and on human and animal health