Florida lawmakers have advanced a pair of bills designed to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, which is used in unconventional drilling.

The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee voted 9-6 in favor of House Bill (HB) 7029 on Tuesday. The bill would ban high-pressure production and recovery techniques for unconventional wells, including fracturing and acid fracturing, plus low-pressure techniques such as matrix acidizing. Conventional drilling would not be affected.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee voted 6-4 to advance Senate Bill (SB) 7064, which would also ban fracking in the state. But the Senate bill would not apply to other well intervention techniques, including those used on conventional wells and low-pressure techniques such as matrix acidizing.

Northwest and South Florida are the state's major oil and gas producing areas, with two active fields in the northwest and seven in the south. According to a state Senate staff analysis of SB 7064, oil production peaked at more than 47 million bbl in 1978, but decreased to less than 2 million bbl by 2017. There were 57 active wells in 2018.

A separate analysis by staff of HB 7029 said Florida produced 814,832 Mcf of natural gas and 622,201 bbl of oil in 2018, according to an annual production report by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Florida had 109 permitted oil and gas wells last November, of which 59 were actively producing.

To date, only Maryland, New York and Vermont have banned unconventional drilling using fracturing techniques. None of those states has substantial production underway.