A report on the water produced from gas drilling operations in the Barnett Shale shows high concentrations of sodium and traces of other elements.
“It’s a very typical sample of produced water in the Barnett Shale,” said Kelly Swan, a spokesman for Williams Production, a Tulsa, Okla.-based drilling company that hired an independent laboratory to conduct the analysis.
“Basically, we’re talking about salt water,” Swan said.
One expert agrees, comparing the water to the salinity of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The sample “strikes me as a rather benign oilfield byproduct,” wrote Tom Brikowski, a hydrologist at the University of Texas at Dallas, who was asked by The Dallas Morning News to review the analysis.
The study shows high concentrations of sodium and traces of barium, boron, calcium, copper, iron and other elements.
Results from a recent Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air quality study found benzene near some natural gas wells in the Barnett Shale in Northern Texas, but no benzene was found in the water analysis done for Flower Mound.