Marcellus Shale Coalition Statement on Calls from Obama Administration for Increased Fracturing Disclosure

CANONSBURG, Pa. – Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president and executive director Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement today in response to comments attributed to White House staff regarding the disclosure of solutions used in the fracturing process:

“Our industry was born in Pennsylvania more than 150 years ago. Since that time, more than 380,000 wells have been drilled in the Commonwealth, the majority of which have utilized hydraulic fracturing technologies. Despite this rich history, we recognize the need to educate and engage stakeholders, policymakers, regulators, and concerned citizens, which is why we worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to fully disclose fluids used in Marcellus Shale. In fact, DEP lists these fluids publicly on its webpage. And these fluids are mandated by the federal government to be at all well locations, too.

“The additives used in the fracturing process collectively make up less than half of one-percent of the stimulation, the other 99.5-percent is fresh water and sand. The fluids are then injected into the formation more than one mile below the surface and are fully isolated in the wellbore, which is encased in layers of cemented steel casings.

“For more than 60 years, hydraulic fracturing has been closely regulated in each of the 27 states in which it’s commonly used. Here in Pennsylvania, this critical technology has helped produce significant amounts of job-creating energy. Last year alone, nearly 48,000 jobs were generated in the state through the safe development of clean-burning shale gas reserves trapped miles below the ground – resources brought to the surface through a combination of technology, innovation and old-fashioned hard work. Those job figures are expected to double by the end of 2010, while contributing more than $1 billion in total state revenues and $8 billion in total economic impact.

“Effective, commonsense and proven state regulations – as well strong commitment from the industry – have helped ensure the shale gas exploration process doesn’t compromise air, land or water quality. This is simply too important of an opportunity for the Commonwealth and our nation’s clean energy future. This technology has been deployed more than 1 million times in the United States – not only to produce oil and natural gas, but to access geothermal reserves, drill water wells, and even clean up Superfund sites.

“The MSC and our members are committed to full regulatory compliance and best management practices, many times resulting in smart regulations that have enhanced environmental protections like water recycling and reuse and enhanced well construction standards.”

NOTE: Joseph Aldy, special assistant to President Obama for energy and the environment, “urged the natural gas industry on Tuesday to disclose the chemicals it uses in drilling,” according to Reuters.