The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has adopted a rule for the disclosure of chemicals in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluids used to stimulate oil and gas wells in the state. Earlier this year state lawmakers passed legislation requiring such disclosure.
The rule will require Texas operators to disclose on a national public website all the ingredients and water volumes used to frack wells in Texas.
The Hydraulic Frac Fluid Disclosure Rule will be required for wells for which the RRC has issued an initial drilling permit on or after Feb. 1. Before the rule passed, some Texas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were voluntarily entering chemical data into the public website FracFocus (www.fracfocus.org) for about half of all wells in Texas undergoing hydraulic fracturing.
"...[W]e have successfully fulfilled our commitment from earlier this year to ensure that Texans know every single ingredient used in the hydraulic fracturing process," said RRC Chair Elizabeth Ames Jones.
Texas is among several states that have embraced requirements for the public disclosure of frack fluid contents. On Tuesday the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission unanimously approved rules for the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, including trade secret protections sought by the oil and gas industry (see related story).
Late last year the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission enacted disclosure requirements (see Shale Daily, Dec. 10, 2010). And in Louisiana the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Office of Conservation recently began taking comments on its own proposal (see Shale Daily, Sept. 1).
Additionally, Pennsylvania and Wyoming have frack fluid disclosure requirements of their own, and Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality in May announced new regulations for high-volume fracking operations that use more than 100,000 gallons of fluid.
The Texas rule to implement the frack fluid legislation, passed by lawmakers during their last legislative session and signed by the governor, was published in the Texas Register in September (see Shale Daily, Aug. 30).