New rules approved by Oklahoma Corporation Commission will require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals in state

Oklahoma energy companies will have to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing at FracFocus.org or at the state Corporation Commission, if the Oklahoma Legislature gives final approval to new rules.
by Paul Monies Published: March 21, 2012
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“We get reports on the wells and the operators, and that number is growing rapidly,” Wrotenbery said.

Under the rules, companies are allowed to claim exemptions from public disclosure if they deem the chemical formulas trade secrets. But Wrotenbery said regulators would have access to that information.

“The agency can get that information in emergency response situations or in the investigation of complaints,” Wrotenbery said.

Mike Terry, president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, said the energy industry is in favor of disclosing the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing. But companies differed in where the chemicals should be disclosed. The association prefers the Corporation Commission, he said.

“The majority of our members are familiar with the Corporation Commission and feel they have more say there in the rule-making process and through the election of the commissioners,” Terry said.

In public comments about the proposed rule, the Sierra Club said it hoped improvements would continue to be made to the FracFocus website to allow for better searching and sorting of chemical data.

“We think it's a great step forward and a great first step,” said David Ocamb, director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Sierra Club. “We look forward to expanding on the rule later.”

If approved by the Legislature, the rules would go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, for companies using hydraulic fracturing on horizontal wells. The rules would start in 2014 for companies fracturing other types of wells.

Wrotenbery said the two-step implementation will allow for additional time for smaller producers, who don't do much horizontal drilling, to become familiar with the reporting requirements.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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We think it's a great step forward and a great first step. We look forward to expanding on the rule later.”

David Ocamb

Director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Sierra Club

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