ExxonMobil recognises importance of fracturing fluid disclosure
ExxonMobil, the international oil and gas corporation, has acknowledged the importance of disclosing the composition of fracturing fluid to provide a “strong factual foundation” for discussions about environmental protection.
Cuadrilla already discloses the composition of its fracturing fluid, as the article from Platts European Gas Daily recognises:
ExxonMobil calls for fracking disclosure
Platts European Gas Daily
By Alex Froley
12 March 2012
ExxonMobil Friday said it wanted a systematic program for the disclosure of chemicals used in unconventional gas production in Europe.
The move to reveal the make-up of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing of shale gas reserves would help to head off criticism of the new gas production method, which is attracting growing attention in European countries such as Poland.
“ExxonMobil believes that a comprehensive disclosure program allows citizens and communities to consider this technology with a strong factual foundation,” the company said in a statement. “We believe that will lead to open discussion about environmental protection and risk management, and the potential benefits of shale development in Europe.”
The statement came as ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson spoke to the CERAWeek conference in Houston.
Shale gas production has transformed the US gas industry in recent years, boosting production rates and booked reserves of gas. The country was changed from a growing importer to a possible exporter, while US gas prices have dropped to $2.50/MMBtu, against $9.00/MMBtu in Europe.
However, opponents of shale gas extraction in the US have criticized the industry for not disclosing the chemicals included in fracking fluids, which they say could contaminate water supplies.
Some companies claimed that the details were commercially sensitive. ExxonMobil, however, said that more than two years ago it had worked with US state regulators to help create the FracFocus website, an online registry of chemicals, and that a similar initiative could be developed in Europe.
In Europe the industry is still in its early days. Countries such as France and Bulgaria banned fracking, while in the UK the government is still reviewing whether to allow fracking to go ahead again.
Problems were raised in the UK over potential links to earthquake activity, as well as the chemicals included in fracking fluids.
“While shale natural gas development is in its early stages in Europe, the resource has the potential to play a significant role in helping meet Europe’s energy requirements over coming decades,” ExxonMobil said.
In the UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources has disclosed the ingredients in its fracking fluid, saying that it contains only a few chemicals that can also be found in common household products, highly diluted.
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