Peer review artikel

How to adapt chemical risk assessment for unconventional hydrocarbon extraction related to the water system


“We identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps of chemical risk assessment related to unconventional drillings and propose adaptations. We discuss how chemical risk assessment in the context of unconventional oil and gas (UO&G) activities differs from conventional chemical risk assessment and the implications for existing legislation. A UO&G suspect list of 1,386 chemicals that might be expected in the UO&G water samples was prepared which can be used for LC-HRMS suspect screening. We actualize information on reported concentrations in UO&G-related water. Most information relates to shale gas operations, followed by coal-bed methane, while only little is available for tight gas and conventional gas. The limited research on conventional oil and gas recovery hampers comparison whether risks related to unconventional activities are in fact higher than those related to conventional activities. No study analyzed the whole cycle from fracturing fluid, flowback and produced water, and surface water and groundwater. Generally target screening has been used, probably missing contaminants of concern. Almost half of the organic compounds analyzed in surface water and groundwater exceed TTC values, so further risk assessment is needed, and risks cannot be waived. No specific exposure scenarios toward groundwater aquifers exist for UO&G-related activities. Human errors in various stages of the life cycle of UO&G production play an important role in the exposure. Neither at the international level nor at the US federal and the EU levels, specific regulations for UO&G-related activities are in place to protect environmental and human health. UO&G activities are mostly regulated through general environmental, spatial planning, and mining legislation.”

(Citaat: Faber, A., Annevelink, M., Gilissen, H.K., et al. – How to adapt chemical risk assessment for unconventional hydrocarbon extraction related to the water system – Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 246(2019)1-32 –

Bekijk het artikel
Heeft u een vraag over deze publicatie?