The technical literature on horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing adapted to shale is extensive, covering 30 years of development, with over 550 papers on shale hydraulic fracturing and 3000 papers on aspects of horizontal wells.
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Scientific Consensus on Hydraulic Fracturing
The Committee finds that the likelihood of hydraulic fractures intersecting underground aquifers is negligible.
Hydraulic fracturing requires access to volumes of water that are generally not large compared to other uses, such as irrigation, and large industrial and town water supply.
The possibility of hydraulic fracturing causing earthquakes of sufficient magnitude to cause structural damage (2 or greater on the Richter scale) has been examined. Based on an extensive review of the evidence, the Panel has concluded that this is unlikely to occur as a result of hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas in the NT.
Regulated petroleum activities have been occurring in Western Australia for the past 60 years without compromising health, safety or the environment. During that period, nearly 780 hydraulic fracture stimulation activities have been conducted without major incident.