By DUSTIN BLEIZEFFER Star-Tribune energy reporter

DESPITE VIGOROUS OPPOSITION FROM INDUSTRY, it appears state regulators and the general public will have broad access to documents detailing chemicals used in oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other drilling operations. [read the full article here].


“I think if there’s an incident, people should have a better feel for what went into the wells,” said commission supervisor Tom Doll. “We’ll see exactly what they pumped into the well. Further, they have to report what comes out of the well after they’ve completed the (well stimulations).”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process used to crack open rock and shale deep underground to stimulate the flow of hydrocarbons. The process is credited for vastly increasing America’s potential natural gas reserve — by as much as 35 percent in recent years.

But fracking has also come under scrutiny in the Rockies and particularly in the eastern United States, for fear the process could contaminate drinking water supplies. Many different chemicals can be used in fracking, and the industry insisted it didn’t have to disclose individual recipes because companies considered those proprietary.

While a company may request that specific fluid blends be kept confidential, Doll said he’s not going to be easily persuaded on the matter.

“We’re going to make it a little more difficult for companies to claim information is confidential,” said Doll.

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West Edge