UPDATE 2-US to require details of fracking on federal land

Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:15pm GMT
 

* Chemical disclosure to help public confidence-official

* Interior hopes to finalize rules 12 months after issuing

* 14 pct of U.S. natgas output was on federal land in 2010 (Adds details, background)

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Interior Department plans to issue a proposal soon forcing companies to reveal the chemicals they use in the so-called fracking drilling process on federal lands, as the Obama administration responds to public safety concerns over the shale exploration boom.

David Hayes, deputy secretary at the Interior Department, told a federal shale gas advisory panel on Monday that the department hopes to issue disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in "a couple of months." It plans to finalize the guidelines about 12 months after that.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a mix of water, sand, and chemicals into shale formations at high pressures to extract oil and gas.

"The high level of concern about the nature of fracking chemicals suggests the complete disclosure of all chemical components and composition of fracking fluids would improve public confidence," Hayes told the Energy Department's shale gas panel.

Calling the current hydraulic fracturing rules that were developed in 1982 "outdated," Hayes said the department is also working to develop rules focused on ensuring well integrity and managing waste water.   Continued...

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