Houston-based oilfield services giant Baker Hughes Inc has announced plans to reveal all the chemicals it uses in fracking to tap oil and natural gas in shale formations.
The move is unprecedented, since the company has previously refused to reveal the chemicals due to “competitive reasons”, and it remains unclear whether its rivals such as Schlumberger and Halliburton will follow suit.
“It’s actually going to take several months for the policy to go into effect,” Melanie Kania, a Baker and Hughes’ spokeswoman told Bloomberg. “We still need to go into negotiations with suppliers, customers, etcetera, and get all of our systems up to date.”
Ms Kania however said that the policy will take a few months to implement and that the company had been engaged with its suppliers and engineers to lay the framework for the disclosures.
The company’s decision comes at a time when opposition to fracking is increasing, with some quarters linking it to earthquakes and air quality and groundwater pollution. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique that involving pumping a mixture of chemicals, water and sand to the shale rocks at high pressure to release the trapped oil and natural gas. Together with horizontal drilling, the technique has seen U.S. oil and natural gas production soar to the highest level in decades.
A website FracFocus was recently launched to provide a platform for oil firms to willingly reveal their fracking chemicals. The U.S. Interior Department is also planning to release a draft proposal that seeks to regulate fracking in public property before the end of 2014. The regulation will cover 56 million of federally-recognizes Indian lands and 700 million acres of federal property. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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