Halliburton Co.said it has reached an agreement to turn over to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all documents related to fluids used in the controversial hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process, ending a battle that could have landed in court.
"Over the past two months, we have provided responsive documents to the agency and will continue to work diligently with the EPA to provide the documents requested during December, concluding our submission by Jan. 11, 2011," the Houston-based oil field services provider said.
In November the EPA sent letters to nine major national and regional fracking service providers ordering them to submit information as part of its study on fracking and its impact on drinking water quality. Halliburton was the only company that failed to comply, forcing the EPA to subpoena the company (see Shale Daily, Nov. 10). A few days later the company said it would publicly disclose fluids used in fracking activities and set up a website to carry it out (see Shale Daily, Nov. 16).
The EPA was seeking information on several topics, including chemical composition of fluids used in fracking, the impacts of the chemical fluids on human health and the environment, standard operating procedures at fracking sites, and the sites where fracking has been conducted.
In March the EPA began the study of the potential risks associated with fracking -- a technique used to stimulate production of natural gas from wells drilling in gas shales (see Daily GPI, March 19). The study was authorized by Congress.
The eight companies that cooperated with EPA's request for information were BJ Services, Complete Production Services, Key Energy Services, Patterson-UTI, PRC Inc., Schlumberger, Superior Well Services and Weatherford.