Jim Snyder and Katarzyna Klimasinska -
Aug 18, 2011 12:37 PM MT
The U.S. is weighing whether to impose new rules on hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas on public lands.
Companies such as Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) of The Woodlands, Texas, and Treasure Resources Inc. of Windsor,Colorado, may be required to disclose chemicals used in the drilling and adopt well-integrity standards as part of the permit process, Robert Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management, said in an interview today in Bloomberg’s Washington office.
“We have the authority to move forward with our own rule-making to require such a disclosure and other best-management practices that we deem are feasible and appropriate,” Abbey said. Such regulations are being “seriously entertained,” he said.
In fracturing, or fracking, companies inject water, sand and chemicals under high pressure thousands of feet underground to break up shale-rock formations and release the gas trapped there. The technique is used for more than 90 percent of wells drilled on public lands, Abbey said.
Environmentalists and local officials have said the technique can pollute water resources.
Natural-gas production on federal lands rose 6.5 percent to 2.97 trillion cubic feet, or 14 percent of U.S. production, last year, according to the agency’s website.
Abbey said the bureau had no evidence that fracking has“adversely affected groundwater.”
Disclosure, Best Practices