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Range is setting the bar for transparency in the Marcellus


Range Resources announced last week that they submitted their first hydraulic fracturing disclosure forms to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Range is trailblazing a new effort to be more transparent to help subdue fears the public has about shale drilling and, more directly, hydraulic fracing.  The first set of forms consists of the Well Records and Completion Reports for 3 wells in Washington County: Baker Unit #4H, Baker Unit #5H and Baker Unit #6H.  We are going to take a moment to breakdown these new variations of the typical Well Record and Completion Report and we will use the Baker Unit #4H as an example (click here for the full form).

The first and second sections of the forms are the typical Well Record, Completion Report and Log of Formations sections.  The Well Record section includes well type, drilling method, elevations/depths and casing/tubing details.

The Completion section shows perfs and other completion information such as fluid type and amount, and propping agent.

The Log of Formations portion has a log of depths and formation types.

The third section is where it gets interesting.  This is where Range has taken the liberty to detail the composition of the frac fluid that was used to complete the well.  Not only do they give the name of chemical additives and amounts they also describe the purpose of the additive and the common uses of the chemicals.  To get a visual representative of the composition they also provided a pie graph that shows the total solution and also the breakdown of the additives.

To be even more transparent, Range then lists and provides details on the hazardous components of the frac fluid and the supplier of the chemicals.  This table also has maximum concentration percentages of the hazardous components of the fluid which in our example well is 0.075% by volume and 0.085% by weight.

All in all, I think Range seems to be on the right track with this type of openness and when combined with the release of their Hydraulic Fracturing fact sheet back in July (see Range Releases Frac Fact Sheet… say that 3 times fast) it conveys a message of “We have nothing to hide.”  This is a good move especially at a time when fear mongering and propaganda are all over the Marcellus (as an example see PA DEP’s Secretary John Hanger Not Happy about GasLand Movie and with Good Reason).  I hope that other operators follow in Range’s footsteps.

For more information visit the Marcellus Regulatory, Environmental Info folder in the Unconventional Updates in DI’s DNA.

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Anne Leonard

In January 2015, Anne Leonard headed the team that launched the latest addition to DrillingInfo’s international publications, International Scout Frontier North America which covers the US Gulf of Mexico as well as Maritime and Arctic Canada. She has been reporting on exploration and production for more than 30 years. She began her career in Denver covering the Rocky Mountain Region, and has spent the last 10 years covering the international arena, with a particular focus on Latin America, Africa, Western Europe and the Far East. Anne received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nebraska.