Noble Energy Inc, a Houston-based oil explorer, has given the state’s draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly fracking, thumbs up.
The proposed rules back the use of proven technologies to explore and develop safely oil and gas industry in Nevada, said Noble’s frontier business leader Kevin Vorhaben during a public workshop in Elko County, where the company is currently prospecting oil in three locations. He further reaffirmed that the rules would protect the environment and human health.
“These innovative proposed rules support the use of proven horizontal holes and hydraulic fracturing technologies to safely develop Nevada’s discovered and undiscovered oil and gas resources,” Vorhaben said, according to The Associated Press.
However, a certain section of the local populace view Noble’s endorsement as a sign that the proposed laws by the Nevada’s Division of Minerals may be too lenient.
“It really makes me uncomfortable to hear representatives of an oil company endorsing the regulations that you have and how great they are,” said Richard Sturm, a resident of Elko County, as reported by the Elko Daily Free Press.
He further alluded to the fact that BP spilt gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 after an oil rig exploded, despite the presence of a legal framework covering offshore oil extraction.
Hydraulic fracturing is a technique of extracting oil and gas reserves trapped in the underground rocks by pumping in chemicals, sand and water at high pressure. This method has generated a lot of controversy as environmental activists claim it pollutes groundwater and air.
Among other clauses, Nevada’s proposed laws state that underground water aquifers must be tested before and during the fracking process. Companies must also reveal the chemicals used, and inform the public about their activities.
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