DEG Special Session Explores the Impacts of Hydrofracturing

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

DEG Special Session
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
AAPG International Conference & Exhibition - Cartagena
S. Sarmiento and M. H. Young, co-chairs

The Environmental Impacts of Hydrofracturing — Truth or Fiction?

by Tom Temples

Included here are three PDFs that Tom Temples, 2013-14 President of DEG, presented as one of four speakers in this special session.

Session Description:

 See supporting material from Temple’s lecture – part 1

The first use of hydraulic fracturing technology was in 1947 in the Hugoton Field in Kansas. Since that time, the oil and gas industry has fracture-stimulated over 1 million wells. With the explosion of the shale resource plays in North America and the rest of the world, a storm of controversy and debate has risen concerning the safety and environmental impacts from this well established practice. The public media have published numerous articles detailing deleterious effects of hydraulicfracturing on water wells, homes, businesses and lives. Some have been anecdotal, some have been outright manipulation of the facts and some have been valid.

 See supporting material from Temple’s lecture – part 2

This presentation took a historical look at how the practice has evolved since its inception and will identify potential areas in Latin America and the rest of the world with the potential for shale resource plays and, therefore, the use of hydraulic fracturing technology. The sessopm outlined the new procedures used to protect workers as well as the environment.

 See supporting material from Temple’s lecture – part 3

Finally, the speakers provided a detailed look of reported impacts from hydraulic fracturing and discuss which impacts are supported by data and which ones are not. The data presented gave regulatory authorities accurate information about the processes, steps and procedures taken to protect human health and the environment. The information can be used for the development of regulations that protect the environment, but still allow the development of needed resources in future areas of exploration and production.


  • Tom Temples, President 2013-14, AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences
  • Dewitt Dees, National Sales Manager, U.S. Operations, Newalta Environmental Corporation
  • Michael H. Young, Associate Director for Environment, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin

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