OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, Apr. 11, 2011 -- A web-based national registry disclosing the chemical additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process on a well-by-well basis has been launched by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).
The website, www.FracFocus.org, comprises information on wells drilled starting in 2011.
The initiative, funded by the United States Department of Energy, provides oil and gas exploration companies a single-source means to publically disclose the chemical additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process.
Participating energy companies voluntarily upload information about the chemical additives and the proportion used in each hydraulic fracturing job using a standard template. As of the launch, 24 energy companies are participating in the www.FracFocus.org project. In addition, several state regulators are actively encouraging energy companies to disclose information through the national chemical registry.
The hydraulic fracturing process, which has been the subject of a number of state regulatory initiatives, public interest and an ongoing study by the United States EPA, is overseen by regulatory professionals at the state level in the field of earth science. Over 90 percent of the wells drilled in the United States use the hydraulic fracturing process.
The new website features an easy-to-use interface that gives the public and regulators access to comprehensive information about hydraulically-fractured wells nationwide. Searchable fields allow users to identify wells by location, operator, state and county, as well as a standard well identification number, known as an API number.
The site also contains general information on the hydraulic fracturing process, water protection programs, descriptions of the chemicals used and their function in the process, and the Chemical Abstract Services registry number of each additive. A "Frequently Asked Questions" section is also included. The site also features information on private water wells, outlining steps landowners can take to learn more about operating and maintaining their water wells.