WASHINGTON, June 2, 2011 – The American Petroleum Institute applauded the Department of Energy’s dialogue on the development of America’s vast natural gas resources. API cautioned the Department not to stifle the development of one of the cleanest forms of energy through unneeded red tape.
“From well design to water use and site management, API standards and guidance documents have been used for decades with effective oversight by state environmental regulators,” said API Director of Standards David Miller, following the industry portion of the public meeting by DOE’s Natural Gas Subcommittee. “We need to ensure we continue developing this nation’s vast natural resources in the safest manner possible. However, duplicative efforts by multiple federal agencies could be costly, and counterproductive.
“At a time when the president has promoted the increased use of natural gas, we need to move forward using available industry expertise and avoid overregulation,” Miller said. “We can develop America’s vast natural gas resources in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.”
API standards and best practices recognize that methods to access oil and natural gas resources vary by region and it is important that resource development be regulated appropriately by the states most familiar with regional geology, hydrology and biodiversity.
State regulators repeated today that state-based regulation has proven successful for safe industry operations. Representatives of several states, including from Texas and Arkansas, observed that investigations in their states have not shown any cases of groundwater contamination resulting from hydraulic fracturing. Industry best practices have played a key role in effective state regulation, with 184 API Standards cited more than 3,300 times by state regulators.
“The oil and natural gas industry has promoted transparency related to fluids used in hydraulic fracturing through a program called FracFocus,” said Miller. “Industry has moved forward to promote transparency through this joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.”
FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry comprises member governors, state oil and gas regulators, industry and the environmental community. Its purpose is to provide the public with objective information on the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and how groundwater is protected. The website allows the public to see what chemicals are being used in well sites near their using information uploaded by the operators.
Visit API’s website, here, for additional information on API standards and best practices relating to hydraulic fracturing. API is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developing organization, operating with approved standards development procedures and undergoing regular third-party program audits to ensure that they meet the criteria and principles required by ANSI: openness, consensus, balance and due process.
API represents more than 470 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million in revenue to our government every day, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.