Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Appalachian Shale Industry Group Releases Fracking Standards

May 1: The Appalachian Shale Recommended Practices Group (ASRPG), a consortium of 11 of the Appalachian Basin's largest natural gas and oil producers, announced the creation of the "Recommended Standards and Practices for Exploration and Production of Natural Gas and Oil from Appalachian Shales" (Recommended Standards). According to a release, the ASRPG's Recommended Standards were developed to promote effective safety, environmental and health practices consistent with the key recommendations of both the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board's (SEAB) final report issued in November 2011 [See WIMS 8/11/11], and the National Petroleum Council's (NPC) Prudent Development report issued in September 2011 [See WIMS 9/16/11]. Both reports acknowledge regional differences in geology, land use, water resources and regulation.
    ASRPG indicates that consistent with these findings, the Recommended Standards reflect existing primacy of state regulation in the areas it addresses, which encompass each phase of the life cycle of a well. In conjunction with the Recommended Standards document, ASRPG issued the following statement:
"As producers in the Appalachian Basin, we strive to be responsible operators that conduct business in a transparent and sustainable manner, and openly communicate with stakeholders. ASRPG's members are committed to conducting operations in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances, and implementing standards, practices and procedures that meet or exceed regulatory requirements. The continuous evolution of technology used by the oil and natural gas industry has improved economic opportunities in the Appalachian region, energy security and the ability to conduct operations in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. ASRPG's goal is to encourage operators to implement today's technologies that enhance safety and environmental performance. We also recognize it is
essential for all operators to continuously improve and adopt effective practices as technology evolves."
    The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a release welcoming the announcement from ASRPG and highlighted the important role of local efforts in establishing industry standards for oil and natural gas production. API Standards Director David Miller said, "The oil and natural gas industry continues to lead in efforts that promote safe and environmentally responsible energy production, particularly in those operations that utilize hydraulic fracturing. We welcome these recommendations and are encouraged to see expert opinions that affirm API's hydraulic fracturing guidance documents.

    "API's standards and recommended practices form a very strong foundation for safe and responsible production of energy from shale, including hydraulic fracturing, which is an essential part of the process. Regional differences in state geology make a single set of operational regulations impractical and API's standards provide a structure amenable to various groups to help them develop practices specific to local geography."

    API said it supports and works closely with a number of public and private partnerships throughout the country, including FracFocus, State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER) and the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC). Miller said, "It is only with the use of hydraulic fracturing that our nation will be able to develop our vast oil and natural gas resources. And, this technology is a game changer that could lead to significant job growth, billions in revenue for our government, and a boost to our energy security." 
    Access a release from ASRPG with details on the consortium members (click here). Access the complete 8-page Recommended Standards document which includes links to referenced information (click here). Access a release from API and link to API's five standards related to hydraulic fracturing (click here). [#Energy/Frack]
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