Wyo. Fracking Rules Point Way for Public Disclosure of Chemicals Used

"To coax more oil from a wildcat well named 'Mad Hatter,' Halliburton Co. is planning to inject water mixed with small concentrations of napthalene, ethanol, '1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene' and 'hydrotreated light petroleum distillate' into a hole in the ground near Casper, Wyo.

Such detailed chemical information was once a closely guarded secret. But it is available to anyone with an Internet connection now that Wyoming is demanding that drillers disclose each chemical that they are putting in each well.

Led by Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D), state regulators decided that the best response to fears about water contamination and the prospect of federal regulation was to order the country's most detailed disclosures of the ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing.

Though companies had long argued that fracturing fluid recipes are trade secrets worth millions of dollars, there has been relatively little grumbling since the rules kicked in Sept. 15."

Mike Soraghan reports for Greenwire December 20, 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010