BLM pulls proposed fracing rules, works on new version

The US Bureau of Land Management withdrew its proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations and announced that a new draft will be prepared during 2013’s first quarter. BLM is preparing a new version in response to the more than 170,000 comments it received to the original proposal, the US Department of the Interior said on Jan. 18.

“In response to comments from stakeholders and the public, BLM is making improvements to the draft proposal in order to maximize flexibility, facilitate coordination with state practices and ensure that operators on public lands implement best practices,” a DOI spokesman said. Additional comments will be sought on the new proposal once it is issued, he added.

The draft that was withdrawn was issued in May 2012, and the public comment period on it closed in September. BLM began revising the draft soon after in response to concerns which were raised and to incorporate suggestions which were received, and will submit revisions to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review within a week, according to a DOI source.

The source said the new draft rule will include the original’s three main components: requiring operators to disclose chemicals they use in fracing operations on public lands; improving assurances on wellbore integrity to verify that fracing fluids used in wells are not escaping; and confirming that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fracing fluids that flow back to the surface.

BLM plans to issue final rules after it considers public comments on the new draft later this year.

Positive first step

Two oil and gas associations applauded the move. American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard noted that API asked BLM to reconsider the original proposal, and welcomes the move as “a positive first step.”

Gerard said, “However, the real test will be in the substance of the reproposal. We hope the administration will recognize the strong oversight provided by existing state and federal regulations and take sufficient time to review the many thoughtful comments provided by the oil and natural gas industry and others.”

In Denver, the Western Energy Alliance applauded BLM’s decision to develop a fresh draft since the original was so complex, and technical input from producers, Indian tribes, governors, and Congress supplied some good ideas.

“BLM has wisely resisted political pressure to rush through a highly complex and controversial rule,” said Kathleen Sgamma, WEA’s vice-president of government and public affairs. “We continue to believe a federal fracing rule is not necessary, as states have been effectively regulating for decades with an exemplary health, safety, and environmental record.

She said WEA found that the first draft would add more than $250,000 to the cost of each new well for an aggregate annual cost of $1.5 billion. “We hope BLM’s next steps include a thorough cost assessment to balance the regulatory burden with the impact on jobs and economic growth,” Sgamma said, adding, “A true assessment would reveal that BLM should not usurp state regulatory authority at a time of overwhelming federal debt and declining budgets.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Union strike ongoing at US refineries as negotiations continue

02/06/2015 A strike by union workers at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants remains under way as the United Steelworkers Union (USW) continue...

NCOC lets $1.8-billion pipeline contract for Kashagan field

02/06/2015 North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) has let a $1.8-billion engineering and construction contract to ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC, a subsidiary of Sa...

AOPL releases 2015 safety performance and strategic planning report

02/06/2015 The Association of Oil Pipe Lines is committed to further improvements despite a 99.99% safe petroleum liquids delivery rate, AOPL Pres. and Chief ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price bounces back up somewhat

02/06/2015 Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected