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The work conducted in the process of exploration and gas production from unconventional sources is connected with emission of impurities into the atmosphere. The increased traffic and the operating drilling equipment powered by diesel oil cause the fumes and dust to penetrate into the atmosphere which may in turn increase the content of sulphur dioxide, nitric dioxide, carbon oxide and benzene in air.

The research on the environmental aspects of the hydraulic fracturing process in the ‎Łebień LE-2H borehole conducted by the Polish Geological Institute in 2011 analyzed the impact of drilling work on the atmosphere. The prospective sources of pollution investigated were: methane, sulphur dioxide, nitric dioxide, carbon oxide, benzene and hydrogen sulphide. The performed measurements of air purity did not indicate any violations of the current standards. 

Shale gas extraction, just like conventional gas extraction, entails methane emission into the atmosphere. After being released into the atmosphere, methane can contribute to global warming as it acts as a strong greenhouse gas (it captures much more heat than carbon dioxide). Gas production from unconventional sources which require hydraulic fracturing are characterized by an increased methane emission. However, there are technologies which limit gas evaporation into the atmosphere. In the United States the Environmental Protection Agency has decided on introducing the obligation to use gas capturing technologies.

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