The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Hydraulic Fracturing Information Online

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 11, 2011

Looking for information about hydraulic fracturing? The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) launched their new joint website today to respond to concerns about the chemicals used in fracturing operations. It's called FracFocus and can be found here. FracFocus.jpg

The website provides information on the makeup of fracturing fluid, the need for chemicals that make the fluid slick and kill corrosion-causing bacteria, and it lists the various names of the chemicals used to coax oil and natural gas from shale rock formations.Website visitors also can obtain a list of the chemicals that have been used at drill sites near their locations.

To clear up misconceptions, the website explains laws that pertain to oil and natural gas field chemical disclosures. In the section titled "Chemical and Public Disclosure," FracFocus says oil and natural gas operations are not exempt from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxic inventory and waste management regulations; rather the EPA has determined that this industry segment is not a high priority for reporting and it doesn't need to file reports at the federal level because the information is already provided to "state agencies that make it publicly available." API supports state-level transparency in hydraulic fracturing and supports this web-based disclosure registry as an effective approach to the dissemination of information. Using this website, oil and natural gas field operators and service companies can submit fracturing information voluntary.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used in the United States in well over 1 million wells during the past 60+ years. In combination with horizontal drilling, it is unlocking vast reserves of U.S. oil and natural gas and helping to improve U.S. energy security.

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.