# Methane from fracking?

Methane has spiked sharply since 2014: BBC Methane surge needs 'urgent attention'.

This coincides with a large increase in fracking. So I'm wondering if there could be a connection? I don't think the target formations could release significant methane because they are generally so deep and pressurized. On the other hand, since the seismic footprint of fracking is so large compared to conventional drilling, could overlying shallow formations be sufficiently disturbed by explosions to release methane from near-surface sources?

• Personally I find the multi-year lack of growth to be more suspect than the recent spike. – f.thorpe Dec 13 '16 at 0:34
• @farrenthorpe it's possible that the lack of growth was due to various ways of addressing cow flatulence with sea-weed and/or different types of grass. It's also possible that the more recent uptick is due to fracking, but I haven't studied either in detail, but I've seen articles that suggest both. – userLTK Dec 13 '16 at 2:20
• It's possible, but you would have to look at other possibilities too. even something as simple as an increase of flooding or lower rates of ocean mixing could produce the same levels of methane. It could even be all of the above. although fracking is definintely releasing some cleantechnica.com/2016/09/05/methane-emissions-fracking-update – John Dec 13 '16 at 15:22
• Don't forget gasses released from thawing permafrost. – user2448131 Dec 13 '16 at 19:45
• It's a bit difficult to assess the impact of fracking for shale gas and methane release without having any baseline data. So for example in relation to methane in water bgs.ac.uk/research/groundwater/shaleGas/methaneBaseline/… tells us that: Crucially, there are no consistent baseline data on methane concentrations in groundwater in the USA collected before shale gas exploitation began, which makes it very difficult to assess and deal with the observed problems of methane in groundwater. – nmtoken Dec 18 '16 at 11:08

I will say this, it barely matters in the long run if the methane is leaking or being pumped into your furnace and burned. Methane isn't going to last too long in an oxygen atmosphere, and its all going to end up as CO$_2$ sooner or later.