Curious what Chesapeake Energy Corp. is pumping into the ground to get natural gas from its Big Dawg well in Woods County?
Want to know what chemicals Devon Energy Corp. used in its hydraulic fracturing operations in Coal County?
Now no one has to ask, thanks to a new website — FracFocus.org — launched Monday by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
The searchable site allows visitors to look up the chemicals used on wells in their area, while offering a wealth of information about the process industry officials say has been instrumental in triggering a revolution in oil and gas production.
They also maintain hydraulic fracturing does not pose a threat to groundwater, as alleged by opponents.
“As more and more questions were asked about the hydraulic fracturing process the past couple of years — particularly relating to chemical additives used in the process — we recognized an obstacle to greater disclosure was the lack of a uniform and efficient way to collect, report, and ensure public access,” said Mike Paque, executive director of the Ground Water Protection Council. “Information about additives used in the process was widely distributed, but difficult to access.”
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Executive Director Mike Smith said states have regulated hydraulic fracturing for more than 50 years, but there was no easy way for people to find information about the process and chemicals used in it.
“The website will be a useful new tool to help the public learn about the hydraulic fracturing process,” he said. “Our organizations have a responsibility to keep the public informed. We see this site as a step forward, and we expect it will evolve even more in the future.”
Chesapeake CEO Aubrey K. McClendon applauded the two Oklahoma City-based entities for developing the registry, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Providing further information about our drilling, completing and producing operations in today's environment is more critical than ever, and we believe this new public registry provides an immediate, workable and accurate way to present information about the additives of our hydraulic fracturing operations to all of our stakeholders,” he said. “We encourage every other producer and their respective service company partners to enthusiastically embrace this approach.”
Richard Luedecke, vice president of Devon's environment, health and safety group, said the new website should help answer the public's questions about hydraulic fracturing.
“Devon has already begun posting information on this website, and the registry will be an important component of our reporting process going forward,” he said.
Chesapeake and Devon are among two dozen oil and gas producers that have volunteered to disclose the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing operations on the website. Eleven have begun using the site already.
Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairwoman Dana Murphy also urged producers from across the country to participate in the registry.
“This site is strongly supported by both regulators and the industry in Oklahoma, both of whom have provided input into the site's creation,” she said. “It is more important than ever that the facts be separated from fiction when it comes to hydraulic fracturing.”
The Corporation Commission requires companies working in Oklahoma to disclose what chemicals are used in drilling or completing a well, but reports that must be filed with the agency do not include a detailed chemical analysis.