Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



Hydraulic fracturing has become a hot topic in America’s growing, domestic, oil and natural industry. This new technology has provided an economic way to extract resources from tight oil and gas shale formations found deep underground, but this new way of drilling does not come without environmental and human health effects. Among these health effects are water usage, water quality, and air quality. In this paper, data from Frac was used to get the average amount of water used per well, and the average amount of chemicals, and what those chemicals are, for each well in the Haynesville Shale. An extensive literature review was used to get average air emission data from drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Data from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ SONRIS was used to find average drilling statistics associated with Haynesville Shale wells and used to determine drilling and hydraulic fracturing efficiency. These parameters were then used estimate air emissions, water usage, and chemical use in the Haynesville Shale. It was found that on average an unconventional well in the Haynesville Shale used 6.5 million gallons of water. The top three chemicals used in fracking fluid were found to be: Hydrochloric Acid, Phenol, and Quaternary Ammonia Salts, used at an average concentration of 0.21%, 0.086%, and 0.02%, respectively. Air emissions from unconventional drilling processes were estimated for NOx, CO, VOC, PM, SOx, CO2, and CH4. Overall, the drilling process in the shale was found to emit the most amount of emissions, except for CH4 where fracturing emitted the most. Lastly, using the drilling parameters and water use calculations, evidence was shown that learning by doing was taking play in the Haynesville Shale and that efficiency, in some aspects of the well development activities, was being achieved.



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Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Dismukes, David