Fracking Safety for Unconventional Oil & Gas Domestic Growth

US Shale Gas Potential to 2035

Fracking Safety Review Panel named even as new unconventional production records are set.

President Obama’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future seeks to reduce the U.S.’s dependence on oil and increase the use of renewable energy sources.

North Dakota is doing its part by setting another record production month in March with reports that it pumped 359, 589 barrels of oil per day in March according to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

But no good deed goes unpunished as the old saying goes so back in Washington DC:

  • On April 16, 2011 House Democrats Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey and Dina DeGette released a report they said was “the first comprehensive national inventory of chemicals used by hydraulic fracturing companies during the drilling process.” used by the 14 leading oil and gas service companies in the U.S.  They want the industry to disclose all the chemicals used in fracking and want EPA to regulate their use in hydraulic fracturing to prevent groundwater contamination.
  • On May 9, 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu formed a subcommittee of his Energy Advisory Board of industry, environmental and state regulatory experts to make recommendations to improve the safety and environmental performance of hydraulic fracturing from shale formations in response to fears that use of fracking chemicals can cause groundwater contamination.
  • Frankly, the oil and gas industry has not helped allay concerns about groundwater contamination by its reluctance or refusal to release the ingredients used in fracking fluids.  This has fed fears that the chemicals are dangerous and given opponents of horizontal drilling using hydraulic fracturing more ammunition for their NIMBY cause.

The steady increase in domestic oil and natural gas production from unconventional sources is a genuine American energy success story.  US DOE’s Energy information Administration says recoverable unconventional natural gas deposits may represent more than 100 years of average domestic supply and oil recovery from unconventional sources is offsetting the foot dragging on drilling in the Gulf and deep water along the coasts needed to replace rapidly depleting conventional vertical drilling resources.

So let’s get on with this health and safety review and set some best practices to assure that hydraulic fracturing is the safe, reliable, effective E&P strategy we think it is for putting America back into the energy production big leagues.

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