The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a trade association that represents the interests of more than 400 diverse entities involved in the exploration, extraction, distribution, and sales of oil and gas. The API has recently begun publishing a blog called Energy Tomorrow with a stated goal of encouraging a productive debate on energy issues.
On June 4, 2009, Jane Van Ryan, one of the two primary authors for the site, published an informative post on shale gas extraction titled Hard Rock Gas. The post includes a short video that clearly describes the process of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and provides a pictorial explanation of industry standard terms (aka jargon) as “perfing” and “fracking”.
I encourage you to go and read the post and watch the video. After I followed my own advice, I posted the following comment:
Thank you for the post and the explanatory video. Both provided thought provoking information about hydraulic fracturing.
One thing that I do not quite understand, however, is the notion that this well established technique should not be subjected to a consistent, federal regulation regime instead of a fragmented approach by 50 different states with varying levels of experience in understanding the technique.
I visited the web site of the Ground Water Protection Council and found a listing of the states involved in Underground Injection Control. (http://www.gwpc.org/uic/uic.htm)
That list indicates that there are some missing members that are the home of new exploration areas – states like New York and Pennsylvania are not listed.
That seems to indicate that the regulators in those states are ill equipped to monitor the industry and are at risk of environmental damage by the less competent or careful drillers. State regulation might be adequate in experienced states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas or Louisiana, but how does a state that has not had much drilling activity develop the expertise required?
Wouldn’t it be beneficial for the industry to have a consistent, competent regulator that could help prevent damage from operators that do not take all of the precautions for environmental protection described in your video.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast