HOUSTON — Federal officials have contacted Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. as part of an antitrust investigation into an oil and gas drilling process used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Halliburton spokeswoman Beverly Blohm Stafford said Thursday that the company received what's called a civil investigative demand from the Justice Department's antitrust division during the April-to-June quarter regarding pressure pumping services and is responding to the request.
“We understand there have been other participants in the industry who have received similar correspondence from the DOJ, and we do not believe that we are being singled out for any particular scrutiny,” Stafford said.
Baker Hughes disclosed the investigation regarding pressure pumping services in a regulatory filing late Wednesday. It says the Justice Department requested information under an antitrust law for two years' worth of material in late May.
The Houston energy services company said that it was working with the government to provide the “documents and information,” and couldn't predict where the probe would lead.
“The Antitrust Division is investigating the possibility of anticompetitive practices involving pressure pumping services performed on oil and gas wells,” said Department of Justice spokeswoman Gina Talamona.