Chemical Additive Disclosure and Water Quality Monitoring

Rigorous water management and groundwater protection are vital parts of the process for all CNX operations.

CNX is committed to groundwater protection and employs a variety of industry recommended management practices to protect groundwater, including but not limited to:

  • Multi-layers of impermeable steel casing to prevent fluids from migrating from the wellbore

  • Monitoring the integrity of the casing and cement system through field inspection

  • Multi-stage pressure testing of the wellbore

  • Monitoring groundwater aquifers/residential drinking water supplies

Marcellus drilling fluids pie chart

Water quality protection during natural gas drilling

As a standard practice, CNX conducts water testing ahead of well activity and continues testing throughout operations to ensure water quality exceeds regulatory requirements. Water quality is reviewed with landowners and water purveyors to ensure its preservation.

Marcellus drilling fluids legend

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Hydraulic fracturing additives chart

Water quality protection during hydraulic fracturing

As with drilling CNX uses third-party environmental consultants to collect water samples before and after hydraulic fracturing operations, which are then analyzed at state-certified laboratories and shared with landowners.

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Water Quality Monitoring

Natural gas well casing illustration

CNX undertakes thorough efforts to ensure that the additives that we use in our processes do not impact surface water or residential drinking aquifers. Under current guidelines and industry practice, operators collect one groundwater sample to determine baseline conditions. CNX is committing to a much more comprehensive water quality monitoring program, whereby we will collect four quarterly water samples before drilling commences as well as four quarterly water samples post development.

This series of pre- and post-drilling groundwater and nearby surface water sample collection will provide water quality data over time and confirm that the multiple layers of steel casing protect residential drinking water aquifers (groundwater) and surface water. Collection of one groundwater sample does not adequately establish the needed range of chemical concentrations that are naturally occurring in the area (baseline conditions). In order to provide for a thorough and comprehensive understanding of baseline conditions, CNX will analyze four quarters of pre- and four quarters of post- development conditions. While all wells in our current development plan will not have adequate time to establish this pre-drill baseline, we will be phasing in this multi-quarter concept over the next 2 years.

CNX will rely on indicator parameters to alert to any potential water quality anomalies. For example, total dissolved solids (TDS) found in fluids CNX utilizes for hydraulic fracturing operations is significantly higher than that which is detected in drinking water aquifers. TDS along with other elements such as chloride, sodium, sulfate, and other metals serve as common indicators to alert to potential groundwater impacts.  These constituents, along with other selected parameters, are monitored and if these indicators differ unexpectedly from pre-drill (baseline) conditions further evaluation may be warranted. It's important to note that changes in these indicator parameters do not always imply connection to deep production water from hydraulic fracturing.  Water well operations and water table fluctuations may contribute to observed increases, and the series of pre-drill baseline analyses will help inform on these natural fluctuations.

Private residential drinking water well/spring owners will be given the opportunity to opt in to the (blind) public disclosure. At a minimum, all residential samples collected and analyzed will be provided to the source owner.

Responsible Products and Disclosures

Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing Practices

In order to provide facts and data to stakeholders, we are committing to expand and improve upon the disclosure of chemical additives used in our process to the public ahead of their use.

We ensure we use the most responsible fluid formulations and fluid management practices available. We can confirm that drilling and hydraulic fracturing additives do not contain intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (also known as PFAS).

Drilling and Hydraulic fracturing processes are regulated by various regulatory oversight agencies. These regulations include maintaining Safety Data Sheets that detail the ingredients used in fluids, and per regulatory requirements we report the ingredients of hydraulic fracturing fluids we utilize through the FracFocus chemical disclosure registry.

CNX is expanding/improving on this disclosure and providing fluid formulations for drilling and completions ahead of their use on our website.

Fluid Contents

Because fluid contents will vary based on geographic and geologic factors. CNX is adding this disclosure of additives we predict will be utilized on a pad for transparency to community stakeholders, there is no "standard" formula for drilling or fracturing fluids. Evaluating additive needs during active operations is a very dynamic process, and real-time conditions dictate formula adjustments to ensure sound development and protection of the well bore. Here we have included our typical drilling and completions additives, uses, and additional context.

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