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Shale-gas extraction does not contaminate water: Polish report

17th February 2012
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The process of extracting shale gas does not lead to contamination of the water table or to the release of excessive levels of polluting gas into the atmosphere, according to a study conducted for Poland's Ministry of Environment by experts from the Polish Geological Institute (PIG).

The analysis, which bases its findings on a study of hydraulic fracturing performed on a borehole near the Polish village of Łebień, is the first comprehensive report conducted on behalf of the Polish government into the environmental effects of shale-gas extraction.

Although the report is confidential, newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna managed to get hold of some of its findings.

The study says that the use of the controversial hydraulic fracturing method of shale-gas extraction, which is banned in some countries including France, does not lead to the contamination of ground water, or seismic shocks or to an excessive emission of gas into the atmosphere.

These findings stand in opposition to numerous other studies which suggest that hydraulic fracturing is harmful for the environment.

Scientists from Cornell University in the US are even warning that drilling for shale gas and hydraulic fracturing may contribute to global warming, DGP reported.

Poland A.M.

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