AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A University of Texas study says there's no direct link between groundwater contamination and a controversial process to extract oil and gas known as fracking.
UT's Energy Institute says contamination can occur due to spills above ground or mishandling of wastewater. But the institute argues that those problems are not caused directly by fracking.
Fracking involves pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to open fissures and improve the flow of oil and gas to the surface. The process is used to improve productivity in gas reserves over the U.S., including the Barnett Shale in North Texas.
An Energy Institute spokesman says no industry funds paid for the project. Fracking opponents say the study needs to be reviewed.