Austria's OMV to explore chemical-free shale gas fracking

24 January 2012 13:58  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--OMV has pledged not to use chemicals during any hydraulic fracturing it carries out in shale gas operations, the Austrian oil, gas and petrochemicals group said on Tuesday.

“The economic and technical viability [of this] will be tested in two test drillings,” said OMV spokesman Johannes Vetter, without revealing exact details of how it might carry out chemical-free fracking.

Concerns that the use of chemicals during “fracking” can contaminate groundwater have been raised by various environmental groups around the world, although expert opinion remains divided.

OMV's final conclusions on the viability of the non-chemical approach to “fracking” will be drawn from test drillings it has planned for shale gas deposits in the area around Poysdorf in the Vienna Basin, which is located between the Alps and the Carpathian mountains.

OMV is to spend €130m ($168.8m) on the exploratory drilling, which should take place within the next 12 to 24 months in Austria's Vienna Basin, it said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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