The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

API Supports GWPC's Disclosure Registry

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 15, 2010

API has announced that it supports the voluntary chemical disclosure registry being developed by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) with the endorsement of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The registry is a step toward providing information about the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluids while protecting drilling companies' intellectual property.

API President and CEO Jack Gerard pledged that API will work with the GWPC to enhance the registry program's overall effectiveness. He added, "But it is critical that we ensure confidential business information is protected."

well construction.jpgThe voluntary, state-based electronic registry will have two phases. The first phase will allow companies to report data on a well-by-well basis, disclosing information about hydraulic fracturing fluids for all wells on federal, state, and private lands. The second phase will use GWPC's Risk Based Data Management System as platform for a longer-term registry which will be developed over the next several years. The platform already is in use by 25 state agencies that regulate and oversee oil and gas activities.

"The states are the proper authority for determining requirements for chemical disclosure," Jack said.

Oil and natural gas operations are regulated by state governments. In a May 2009 study conducted by GWPC, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy concluded:

"The regulation of oil and gas field activities is managed best at the state level where regional and local conditions are understood and where regulations can be tailored to fit the needs of the local environment. Hence, the experience, knowledge and information necessary to regulate effectively most commonly rests with state regulatory agencies."

The GWPC is an organization for state groundwater protection officials who are legally responsible for safeguarding drinking water. The group's online library contains several reports addressing hydraulic fracturing and the effectiveness of state regulations in protecting groundwater sources during oil and natural gas operations.

API's hydraulic fracturing standards and related information about the fracking process can be found on API.org. It's estimated that about 80 percent of natural gas wells drilling in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.