Companies in Arkansas would have to reveal all of the chemicals they will use during hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations at new natural gas wells in the state prior to fracking, according to rule changes being considered by the state's Oil and Gas Commission (AOGC).
Operators would be required to report the names and concentrations of chemicals they will use during fracking, along with information demonstrating that well casings are "designed to withstand the anticipated maximum pressures to which the casing will be subjected in the well," according to the proposed amendments. All of the information would have to be included with drilling permit applications if the company plans to frack the well; if the company does not decide to frack until after the initial application has been submitted, the information would have to be submitted prior to the start of any fracking operations.
Amendments to AOGC's Rule B-19, "Requirements for Well Completion Utilizing Fracture Stimulation," would apply to all new wells for which an initial drilling permit is issued on or after the effective date of the rule changes. Information about the chemicals used in fracking operations would be made available to the public on the AOGC website.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently implemented similar regulations (see Daily GPI, Aug. 31).
Across the country operators are under more pressure to disclose what chemicals they use in their exploration and development efforts. The board of directors of the national Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) recently called for a complete disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process, which is used to develop most of the shale gas wells in the country (see Daily GPI, Sept. 30). Last month the GWPC and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) launched an effort to disseminate information on chemicals used in fracking (see Shale Daily, Oct. 21).
Companies including EQT Corp. (see Daily GPI, July 30), Range Resources Corp. (see Daily GPI, Aug. 13) and Chief Oil and Gas LLC (see Daily GPI, Sept. 3) have said they will voluntarily disclose what chemicals they use in their fracking operations in the Marcellus Shale.
Public hearings on the proposed AOGC rule changes were held in Little Rock and Fort Smith, AR, last month, and comments from industry representatives and the public were accepted by the AOGC through Monday (Nov. 1). A vote on the amendment is likely to come in December.