Louisiana has joined other states in requiring the disclosure of the contents of fluids used for hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The rule was proposed earlier this year.
Operators are now required to disclose the composition of the fluids and volumes used after completing a well to the Louisiana Office of Conservation or to a public registry, such as FracFocus (www.fracfocus.org), which was created by the national Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
Louisiana oil and gas regulations are found in Title 43 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, under Subpart 1, Statewide Order No. 29-B. The fracking rule can be found in the Louisiana Register (page 3064).
"The intent of the rule is to provide transparency to ensure that hydraulic fracturing operations are conducted in a manner which is protective of the public health and the environment and to collect technical information on the hydraulic fracturing operations conducted in Louisiana," the Register states.
The rule applies to all new wells that are permitted after the effective date. Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said the new rule provides for more disclosure of information and allows the office to collect technical data not required before. "With the intense development of the Haynesville Shale and in the interest of being protective of the environment, revising our rules provides substance and transparency," Welsh said.
Arkansas has similar requirements and regulators in Texas are working on theirs (see Shale Daily, Sept. 8). Like the other states, Louisiana's rule also makes allowance for information considered to be a trade secret (see Shale Daily, Sept. 1).
Welsh said a Stronger Inc. report issued last March also recommended such an amendment to Louisiana's existing regulations (see Shale Daily, March 14).
Louisiana is home to most of the Haynesville/Bossier Shale, which is in the northern part of the state. Activity in the play has declined significantly from a year ago, according to rig counts, as producers seek oil and liquids-rich gas elsewhere. According to NGI's Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count, the number of rigs active in the play is down 29% from a year ago at 118 as of Oct. 21.