- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 that it has issued voluntary information requests to nine natural gas service companies regarding the process known as hydraulic fracturing. The agency said the data requested was integral to a Congressionally mandated, currently underway, to determine whether hydraulic fracturing has an impact on drinking water and the public health of Americans living in the vicinity of hydraulic fracturing wells.
The EPA has requested the information be provided on a voluntary basis within 30 days, and has asked companies to respond within seven days to inform the agency whether they will provide all of the information sought. The agency's press release mentioned that the same companies previously sent similar information to Congress.
The agency said it is seeking information on the chemical composition of fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process, data on the impacts of the chemicals on human health and the environment, standard operating procedures at their hydraulic fracturing sites and the locations of sites where fracturing has been conducted. This information will be used as the basis for gathering further detailed information on a representative selection of sites.
The requests were made to what the agency considered the nine leading national and regional hydraulic fracturing service providers – BJ Services, Complete Production Services, Halliburton, Key Energy Services, Patterson-UTI, PRC, Inc., Schlumberger, Superior Well Services, and Weatherford.
Hydraulic fracturing is a process in which large volumes of water, sand and chemicals are injected at high pressures to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations. The process creates fractures in formations such as shale rock, allowing natural gas or oil to escape into the well and be recovered. During the past few years, the use of hydraulic fracturing has expanded across much of the country.
The initial results of the study will be announced in late 2012. The EPA will identify additional information for industry to provide – including information on fluid disposal practices and geological features – that will help the agency carry out the study.
View the letter on the voluntary information request: www.epa.gov/epahome/hydraulicfracturing.
SOURCE: EPA Press Release