Chevron uses several measures in order to protect groundwater during hydraulic fracturing and over the decades-long life of the well.
Prior to drilling, we test neighboring freshwater resources, including nearby groundwater wells, to establish a baseline for the water quality. Then after drilling, we plan a series of water samplings to continue to monitor water quality.
During well construction, we install layers of steel casing and cement to form multiple barriers between the well and groundwater. We invest in high-quality casing designed for decades of service, and we surround the casing with cement for additional protection.
To validate quality well construction once the well is built, we conduct a combination of tests to verify casing integrity, including strength tests on the cement used in every well and pressure tests prior to hydraulic fracturing. We also perform quarterly visual inspections to confirm the long-term integrity of operating wells.
protecting surface water and land
Chevron works to reduce the potential impact we have on surface land during development and for the long term. We have engineered innovative solutions to reduce our land footprint in the Marcellus region.
We are phasing out the use of open, lined water storage pits and replacing them with our water storage tanks to reduce the size of temporary drilling and completion sites from an average of 20 acres to 10 acres. They also reduce the amount of time land is under construction—tank assembly can range from a few days to a few weeks compared with three months to dig and line storage pits. This reduces the possibility of habitat disruption and the amount of acreage to reclaim.
protecting the air
As part of our commitment to protect air quality, we design, construct and operate our wells to reduce emissions.
Our drilling rig fleet in the Marcellus includes drilling rigs that run on natural gas for lower air emissions. The rigs also allow the drilling of longer laterals, which requires fewer pads and less time at each location than previous rigs. This results in a smaller physical and carbon footprint.
We reduce the potential for releases by using production pipe with premium connections and seals. We also verify the integrity of our wells and production equipment with regular inspections and tests on all safety control equipment to confirm they are working properly.
Updated: June 2015