Bloomberg News

Texas Drillers to Disclose Chemicals Used in Fracturing

December 14, 2011

(Updates with vote in final paragraph.)

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Texas will require oil and natural- gas operators to report the chemical ingredients used in new hydraulically fractured wells beginning next year.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the industry in the state, said any well receiving an initial drilling permit beginning Feb. 1 will be subject to the new chemical-disclosure rules, according to an e-mailed statement today. The ingredients, which combined with water and sand are pumped underground to crack dense rock and release hydrocarbons, will be reported to the public website FracFocus.org.

Before the rule passed, operators in Texas were voluntarily reporting chemicals to the website for about half of all wells being completed with the so-called fracking technique, according to the statement.

Environmental groups have said the technique has tainted drinking water in states such as Pennsylvania, where 4,100 wells have been drilled.

The railroad commission was directed to establish a disclosure process in a bill approved by a vote of 137-8 in the Texas legislature on May 29. Other gas-producing states including Wyoming, Colorado, Arkansas and Michigan also require companies to unveil some of the materials used in fracking.

--Editors: Charles Siler, Tina Davis

To contact the reporter on this story: David Wethe in Houston at dwethe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net


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