Marcellus Shale Lab Testing

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Analytical Testing Program for Shale Oil and Gas Exploration for Marcellus Shale

Marcellus Shale Drilling and TestingALS Environmental and our teaming partners provide both routine and specialized analytical laboratory services in support of natural gas exploration and extraction in the Marcellus Shale. Services offered by ALS Environmental support routine pre-drill survey testing, waste pre-treatment testing, waste disposal characterization, soil and groundwater characterization in response to spills/releases, as well as specialized services for responsible party determination. Our Marcellus Shale analytical services are tailored to support testing of groundwater, soil, drinking water, and wastewater for constituents specific to the Marcellus Shale Program, including: volatile organic, semivolatile organic, and inorganic compounds; anions, dissolved gases; petroleum constituents; and radionuclides. Our unique team provides routine sample collection and laboratory analytical services, as well as highly specialized forensic consulting expertise and litigation support focused on issues related to natural gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale.

Shale Gas Drilling RigALS Environmental – providing analytical program management, routine and specialty testing of high brine matrices for trace metals, anions, project specific fracturing compounds, monitoring of drinking water aquifers for fracking indicator compounds , hazard waste characterization of drilling muds, fugitive gas emissions and pre-drilling baseline studies on water quality within the local area of the drilling operation.

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Pre-Drill Survey:
Baseline pre-drill surveys assist in establishing pre-existing soil and groundwater quality as part of the plans for preparation of an area for natural gas exploration/production.  Sample analytical programs are generally designed to evaluate soil and groundwater quality relative to the past history of a site as well as PADEP Act 2 criteria and PADEP/USEPA drinking water MCL criteria. 
ALS Environmental laboratory analytical support includes:

  • Organic / inorganic analyses of soil and groundwater samples to meet PA Act 2 criteria
  • Potable well sample analyses to meet PADEP/USEPA drinking water MCL criteria

Spill/Release Response:
Releases and spills necessitate rapid spill response measures, including collection and analysis of soil and groundwater samples from impacted/excavation areas, waste materials staged for off-site disposal, buffer zone areas and background areas.  Sample analytical programs are designed to meet site-specific requirements to characterize the nature and extent of the spill/release.
ALS Environmental laboratory analytical support includes:

  • Organic / inorganic analyses of soil and groundwater samples to meet PA Clean Streams requirements and PADEP Act 2 criteria
  • Potable well sample analyses to meet PADEP / USEPA drinking water MCL criteria
  • Waste characterization analyses to meet off-site waste disposal facility-specific acceptance criteria, PADEP Clean Fill criteria, and/or PADEP Form U criteria

ALS Environmental offers laboratory certification in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and several other states within the Marcellus Shale and related areas.  CAS offers both low level analytical services and forensic analytical services in support of liability assessments and determinations.

Management of Drilling Fluids:
Management of drilling fluids including frac fluids, tophole water and wastewater from gas exploration and production activities requires specific laboratory analytical protocols suited to challenging and complex matrices.  Specific testing programs are designed to support re-use, permitted discharge, overland discharge, infiltration, pre-treatment and off-site disposal of drilling fluids.  
ALS Environmental offers laboratory analytical services designed to determine the chemical constituents of frac fluid additives, brines/salts, lubricants and petroleum products, free-phase liquids to meet PADEP Act 2, discharge permit, land application and/or waste disposal facility criteria including:

  • Organic / inorganic analysis of solid and liquid materials
  • Petroleum constituents (diesel and gasoline range organics, free-phase liquids)
  • Dissolved gases (methane, ethane, ethylene, propane, propene, iso-butane, n-butane)
  • Water quality indicators: pH, conductivity, DO, BOD, COD and anions: fluoride, bromide, chloride, sulfide, nitrate, nitrite, total/orthophosphates
  • Waste characterization parameters: TCLP organics and metals, ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, ammonia-nitrogen, paint filter, oil & grease, total solids, TDS, TSS, TVS, TOC and TOX

Management of Drill Cuttings:
Management of drill cuttings from gas exploration and production activities also requires specific laboratory analytical protocols suited to challenging and complex matrices.  Specific testing programs are designed to support management of cutting materials for beneficial re-use and/or off-site disposal.  
ALS Environmental offers laboratory analytical services designed to determine the chemical constituents of drilling fluid additives, drilling lubricants and bentonite constituents to meet PADEP Act 2, PADEP Clean Fill, PADEP Residual Waste Form U and/or waste disposal facility criteria including:

  • Organic / inorganic analysis of solid and liquid materials
  • Petroleum constituents (diesel and gasoline range organics, free-phase liquids)
  • Waste characterization parameters: TCLP and SPLP organics and metals, ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, ammonia-nitrogen, paint filter, oil & grease, total solids, TDS, TSS, TVS, TOC and TOX

Responsible Party Determination:
ALS Environmental offers custom laboratory analytical and consulting services to support responsible party determinations.  Highly specialized services tailored to site-specific objectives include:

  • Forensic analytical services - tracer testing, low-level testing, isotope dilution, fingerprinting, reference material matching
  • Forensic consulting services - study design and execution and results interpretation
  • Litigation support - data review, research and testing, preparation/delivery of expert testimony

Please Contact Us to learn more about ALS Environmental and our Marcellus Shale Program support.

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