Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic Fracturing involves the injection of large volumes of fluid (water + chemical additives) and proppants (sand) to increase oil and gas production from shale and other tight formations.


The increased use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production has raised concerns regarding potential effects on humans and the environment.  Gradient’s multi-disciplinary team of experts brings unparalleled technical power to addressing such issues, whether they relate to fracturing and faulting of rock, potential chemical migration through water or air, or potential risks to humans and the environment.  Our staff members have advanced hydraulic fracturing understanding and science through peer-reviewed publications and scientific input to regulatory agencies, and we advise clients on the hazards of chemical additives and potential risks associated with hypothetical leaks or spills.

Example Publications:

Verslycke, T; Reid, K; Bowers, T; Thakali, S; Lewis, A; Sanders, J; Tuck, D. 2014. “The Chemistry Scoring Index (CSI): A hazard-based scoring and ranking tool for chemicals and products used in the oil and gas industry.” Sustainability 6:3993-4009.

Flewelling, SA; Sharma, M. 2014. “Constraints on upward migration of hydraulic fracturing fluid and brine.” Groundwater 52(1):9-19.

Flewelling, SA; Tymchak, MP; Warpinski, NW. 2013. “Hydraulic fracture height limits and fault interactions in tight oil and gas formations.” Geophysical Res. Lett. 40:3602-3606.

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