Hydraulic fracturing in shale/tight gas reservoirs creates fracture network systems that can intersect pre-existing subsurface flow pathways, e.g. fractures, faults or abandoned wells. This way, hydraulic fracturing operations could pose environmental risks to shallow groundwater systems. This paper explores the long-term (> 30 years) flow and transport of fracturing fluids into overburden layers and groundwater aquifers through a leaky abandoned well, using the geological setting of North German Basin as a case study. A three-dimensional model consisting of 15 sedimentary layers with three hydrostratigraphic units representing the hydrocarbon reservoir, overburden, and the aquifer is built. The model considers one perforation location at the first section of the horizontal part of the well, and a discrete hydraulic fracture intersecting an abandoned well. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to quantify and understand the influence of a broad spectrum of field possibilities (reservoir properties, overburden properties, abandoned well properties and its proximity to hydraulic fractures) on the flow of fracturing fluid to shallower permeable strata. The model results suggest the spatial properties of the abandoned well as well as its distance from the hydraulic fracture are the most important factors influencing the vertical flow of fracturing fluid. It is observed that even for various field set-tings, only a limited amount of fracturing fluid can reach the aquifer in a long-term period.