Two energy companies face $31,000 in fines after a caustic chemical bound for the Marcellus Shale in Bradford County, Pa., didn't make it down the well bore.

Chesapeake Appalachia and Schlumberger Technology Corp. were both fined $15,557 for spilling 295 gallons of hydrochloric acid at a Bradford County drilling site early this year, according to records from the Pennsylvania state Department of Environmental Protection.

Failure of a tank used in hydraulic fracturing caused the spill in Asylum Township.
The process, called fracking for short, involves blasting the Marcellus with large volumes of chemical solution to fracture the non-porous rock and free natural gas. The controversial process is necessary to capitalize on the economic potential of gas development.

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