Chief Oil & Gas LLC, which was among the first companies to voluntarily disclose the chemicals used in their fracking operations, recently eliminated the storage of discarded drilling fluid in open reserve pits at drilling sites.

The private Dallas operator said it has moved all of its operations to a closed loop process as part of its continuing effort to implement best industry practices in its development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Two months ago Chief began voluntarily disclosing the chemicals used in its Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process on its website and submitting the reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, Chief recycles flowback water and does not mix flowback water with fresh water in open impoundments. The company has implemented enhanced well construction design, installs protective liners at pad sites and encloses compressor stations.

Chief said it has hosted more than 200 public tours of its drilling sites and associated facilities in an effort to make its Marcellus operations more transparent.

Last month Chief reported that its output in Pennsylvania had reached the 100 MMcfe/d mark from 42 wells (see Shale Daily, Nov. 12). The company, which holds more than 600,000 gross acres in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, has forecast that its exit rate this year from the Marcellus play will be 115 MMcfe/d.