Texas leads country in hydraulic fractured wells

More than a third of all new natural gas wells since 2005 were drilled in Texas, and the state uses almost four times as much water for hydraulic fracturing as any other state, according to a study by a Texas environmental group.

Operators in Texas drilled 13,540 wells in 2012, and have drilled more than 33,000  since 2005, according to an Environment Texas report, which focuses on potential hazards and pollution associated with the drilling technology.

Hydraulic fracturing in the state has required more than 110 billion gallons of water since 2005, compared with 30 billion for second-ranking Pennsylvania. The third-largest water users were Arkansas and Colorado, each tallying 26 billion gallons during the period, according to the study.

Authors of the report expressed concern about the high water usage in Texas, noting growing competition for water between agriculture and other industries.

“Farmers are particularly impacted by fracking water use as they compete with the deep-pocketed oil and gas industry for water, especially in drought-stricken regions of the country,” the report said.

Environmental groups have also expressed concerns about hydraulic fracturing-related air quality issues in the Eagle Ford in Southern Texas.

More than 82,000 hydraulic fracturing wells have been constructed across the country since 2005, the majority of which are concentrated in Texas, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado and West Virginia.