Many journalists meetings with the leadership of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine , the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine , National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine have repeatedly treated the issue of energy security of Ukraine and prospects of rapid increasing the extraction  of shale gas (hereinafter – SG) from the oil and gas structures of the Eastern (Uzyvska site) and Western (Olesky site) regions.


Expert and analytical research of  specialists from  the Institute of Geological Sciences, Institute of Telecommunications and Global Information Space , Institute Geochemistry of Environment  National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the National Institute for Strategic Survey under the Administration of President of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine showed that the extraction from the  impermeable shale deposits  the hydrocarbon resourses  (shale and tight gas) ( depth 3.5 – 5.5 km ) should be connected with the industrial implementation the developed in USA  about 20-30 years ago of  industrial level  the fraking technology ( hereinafter – the FT ), but  with its ecological and technological adaptation to the parameters  of oil-gas-waterbearing structures  of Ukraine.

Physical and technological content of the FT is associated with the creation  in the impermeable and compressed water-gas-saturated rocks  the technogenic permeable fractured and chemically active space. This is achieved by drilling the clasters of  the  horizontal or inclined boreholes (about 6-10 boreholes / km.square) with its next perforation for the  making (fraking) space of active development  the permeable splits. Following  injection in the area of fracking splits (AFS) 8-15 thousands tons toxic man-made solutions (surface acvtive substances, sand etc.). About 25-35 %  of these mixtures are remained in the AFS as the source of ecological danger for underground  hydrogeosphere.

Realized  expert analytical assessments (academician Lyalko V.I., academician Shestopalov V.M., PhD Yakovlev Ye.A., сorresponding member Trofimchuk A.M., PhD Krasovskiy G.Y., candidate of geological- mineralogcal sc. Yakovlev V.V., doctor of geological sc. Asimov A.T., doctor of geological sc. Shekhunova S.B. etc.) have shown that in the gas-oil bearing structures within  the  Eastern and Western regions of Ukraine FT is able to form a threat of the regional  pollution  of artesian aquifers containing the  fresh drinking and mineral medical water.

Analysis of remote sensing data (RSD) for evaluation the territorial specjfjc density of regional tectonic disturbances as potential paths upward migration of toxic residues of technological solutions in the AFS demonstrated the possibility of forming two main mechanisms of the process:

  • Formation of hydraulic-filtrative contacts AFS with permeable tectonic zones; conducted geospatial assessments is showing  that the density of linear fractures of AFS is the 4-6 times more comparatively with the background density of lineaments according to RSD. As a result, a high probability can be created for penetration of technology toxic contaminants in tectonic zones are  penetrating  to  upper bedded horizons  of drinking and mineral medical water. The estimated time of migration is 5 – 50 years , coinciding with individual cases of pollution of groundwater and surface water sources in the U.S. during 20-30 years the  industrial implementation of  FT;
  • Slow lateral diffusive-convective rises  the   technological solutions residues  from fractured space AFS due to their low specific density (1000 kg/m.cubic) comparatively with  mineralized pore water (300-400 g /l), whose specific density is 1200 kg/m.cubic.

Approximate time of reaching the freshwater horizons is about 300-500 years. But the movement can be essentially accelerated due to creation of the water-gas emulsion.This process is able to cover the whole area of SG production.

Comparison of the volume the porouos water  of the rock massif above AFS and  potential pollution ability  of remnant  technogical solutions is showing the high risk of long-term contamination of underground hydrogeosphere.The  experience of toxic liquid wastes injection in the deep horizons (U.S., Russia, Ukraine) is witnessig about the same (the viskosity of the gas almost 1,000 times less than water and technological solution one).

When Ukrainian experts due to supporting by SHELL were familiarized (September 2013), in the field conditions of Pennsylvania state with  the technology of shale gas extraction  and the composition of the local environmental protection measures , it was established  that at the regional level in the U.S. operates over two hundred regulatory documents, taking into account ecological , technological and socio- economic parameters of FT. Unfortunately, Ukrainedoes not have the developed complex  of the legal acts  to ensure  the safe of FT  for SG production within oil-gas-waterbearing geological structures  that are associated with a high-energy and dangerous hydrogeochemical impacts on deep horizons of geological enviroment.

Also, while interacting with experts of   USA Environmental Protection Agency and members of the public  it was established  that in the U.S. within the territories of 35 states for three years is realized a program of  assessment the  changes in the ecological status of groundwater and surface water in areas of long-term industrial production of SG by drilling control wells (160 thousand) and testing of surface water bodies (180 thousand units).

Performing these works mainly due to the increasing number of complaints of local people to the deteriorating quality of surface and ground water sources and ecological condition of the landscape area extraction SG.

Comparative analysis of environmental threats connected with industrial implementation the FT within SG deposits in  U.S. and Ukraine allows to reach the following preliminary conclusions:

  1. Structurial geology and hydrogeomighration  conditions saline and fresh groundwater in the fields of SG in Ukraine is more complex due to more higher tectonic disturbance  including  the active development of salt domes, the presence of in vivo filtration connections of mineralized horizons and fresh groundwater in the form of sites their  pollution by toxic chemical elements (mercury, arsenic , copper , iodine  etc.).
  2. Implementation of FT in Ukraine requires the outstripping  elaboration a regulatory  documents  for  its industrial use.
  3. Taking into account the risk of highly probable contamination  the  deep layers within large areas  of the geological environment during industrial implementation of FT, the dangers of toxic compounds migration to the source of drinking  water supplying system, technogenic development of seismic shakings and deformation of the surface, it seems expedient:
  • elaboration of the state program of substantiation  the ecological ,technological stability and socio -economic efficiency the exploitation of shale gas (remote sensing and analysis of materials the gas-geochemical survey in areas of search and extraction of SG in order to separate the environmentally safe areas, creating geological and economic models and so on.);
  • scientific creation of  criteria for maximum allowable ecological and man-made changes in oil and gas structures using FT in order to prevent contamination of underground layers of fresh drinking and mineral medical waters;
  • perfection of the existing monitoring system including gas-geochemical,landscape geochemical, hydrogeological, geophysical and geodetic parameters of geological environment in the areas of environmental impact of shale gas extraction.