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Drought threatens US fracking industry: Study

Published on Feb 6, 2014 7:48 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The two years of drought in the central United States is placing strains on the water-intense oil and gas fracking industry, according to a new study on Wednesday.

Nearly 50 per cent of the wells drilled since 2011 using hydraulic fracturing, aimed at exploiting hard-to-tap oil and gas deposits, are in areas with "high or extremely high water stress," according to the study by Ceres, a non-profit group promoting sustainability in business.

That could put fracking operations in conflict with other users, or increasingly strained groundwater resources, including farmers and ranchers in the US midwest and west.

The deepest strains are in Texas, home to a boom in fracking over the past three years, where the recent drought has also been the most intense.

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