22 June 2012 21:23 [Source: ICIS news]
The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) said that plans by the Department of the Interior, announced in early May, to regulate the crucial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking posed a risk to
The proposed rules, put forward by the department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), would require drillers to disclose chemicals used in fracking operations, set mandatory standards for well-bore integrity and establish environmental control requirements for fracking fluids that flow back to the surface.
The comment period for industry and public reaction to the proposed rules was to end in about two weeks on 10 July.
But earlier this week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead formally requested an extension of the comment period, arguing that
Apparently in reaction to Mead’s request and a wide range of industry objections to the rules and their scientific basis, White House deputy assistant Heather Zichal told a natural gas luncheon this week that the administration would extend the comment period for 60 days.
IECA president Paul Cicio said the delay was welcome because “the proposed BLM regulation of hydraulic fracturing raises significant concerns that drilling permitting will slow and that production rates will fall”.
About one-third of IECA’s member firms are petrochemical and chemical producers, with the balance made up of automotive, foods, paper and building supplies manufacturers.
Cicio said that “it is of great concern that BLM provides no supporting scientific data on hydraulic fracturing, well stimulation incidents or problems that justify new overarching regulation”.
“Without these findings, new regulations cannot be justified,” he added.
Recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have produced a bonanza in
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