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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:22 PM

Legal loophole keeps fracturing mixes murky

It’s been a year since the Texas oil and gas industry had to start disclosing the mix of water and chemicals it uses for hydraulic fracturing.

But thanks to a loophole in state law that allows companies to withhold trade secrets, it’s still largely unclear exactly which chemicals are being pumped thousands of feet underground.

Of 12,410 instances of hydraulic fracturing in Texas between April 2011 and early December 2012, companies used terms such as “proprietary,” “secret” or “confidential” 10,120 times while reporting data on the FracFocus.org website, according to data collected through early December by the Houston-based Pivot Upstream Group and analyzed by the San Antonio Express-News.

In the Eagle Ford Shale, the South Texas field that has become one of the hottest oil and gas plays in the nation, the trade secret exemption was used 2,297 times in 3,100 fracturing events.

“I think it’s a loophole big enough you can drive a frack truck through,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, referring to the army of trucks that arrive at a well site for a fracturing job.

As shale drilling boomed across the country — and in response to grass-roots concerns about potential environmental or health effects — the oil and gas industry launched FracFocus.org in the spring of 2011 as a national registry for companies to voluntarily report the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids.

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Reply Legal loophole keeps fracturing mixes murky (Original post)
white cloud Feb 2013 OP
AndyA Feb 2013 #1

Response to white cloud (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:36 PM

1. I read a news story about what's happening in North Dakota with fracturing.

It should be a crime.

In North Dakota, people own the land but not the mineral rights, which allows the oil companies to do whatever they want. If a company wants to install a hydraulic frac in the middle of crops, they can, and the property owner has no say in the matter.

Pets are dying, people are getting sick, and no governmental agency seems to care. It made me furious to read it! This should not be allowed in this country!!

(Looked for story I read, but couldn't find it, although there is a lot to read about this activity across the country. Not surprised Texas would make sure to leave a loophole to protect the companies from revealing the toxic mix they use.)

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