Monday, July 19, 2010

Drillers Say They Don't Know if They're Fracking in Drinking Water--E&E Wire

Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter

The oilfield service companies that perform hydraulic fracturing on natural gas wells told congressional investigators they do not know whether they are stimulating wells in underground sources of drinking water.

So, Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) want 10 oil and gas producers who hire the service companies to provide a list of all hydraulically fractured wells in or near such sources.

"The hydraulic fracturing companies' service companies informed us that they do not track whether the wells they fracture are located in underground sources of drinking water," Markey wrote in a memo to members of his Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

The letter to the CEOs of the well operators, including BP America Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp., also sought information on recovery and disposal of "produced water" and other fluids that come back out of the well. Service companies told committee staffers that, too, was handled by the well operators.

Markey and Waxman launched their inquiry in February and have already asked 14 service companies for information about the chemicals they use to stimulate wells by fracturing them (Greenwire, Feb. 18)........continued......