Fracking ban would be irresponsible - ExxonMobil CEO

09 March 2011 22:03  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Major restrictions or bans on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in the US would be irresponsible, the chief executive of ExxonMobil said on Wednesday.

“This is not a new technology, but one that’s been around since the 1940s. Over 1m wells have been hydraulically fractured, and the EPA [US Environmental Protection Agency] has not been able to document one instance of contamination from hydraulic fracturing,” said ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson spoke at the company’s annual analyst meeting at the New York Stock Exchange.

“To take away the country’s number one energy resource would be irresponsible and have a profound negative effect on consumers,” he said.

The CEO of the world’s largest independent oil company acknowledged that concerns about fracking and the potential impact on groundwater contamination are “legitimate” and need to be addressed.

“We want to have discussions with state, local and federal regulators in a scientific, fact-based way,” said Tillerson.

Groundwater contamination from natural gas wells could be related to poor drilling techniques, poor completion practices or old wells where the casing deteriorates, causing the migration of gas. However, Tillerson said those possible reasons are unrelated to fracking.

“The threat to subsurface [water], I believe, is very low,” said Tillerson.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Paul Hodges' Chemicals and the Economy blog

By: Joseph Chang
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