Hydraulic fracturing: protecting against legal and regulatory risk

Blaine D. Edwards E. James Shepherd Nick Deutsch Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP Houston Newspaper articles and television reports make hydraulic fracturing appear to be a new technology that pollutes drinking water, causes flames to leap from kitchen faucets, and constitutes the next great threat to freedom and democracy. The truth differs from the media reports. The issue focuses on a sophisticated well-completion operation that, used in conjunction with horizontal drilling, has made possible the production of large volumes of oil and gas that are otherwise immobile in reservoirs of extremely low permeability. For the US, heavy-handed regulation or outright prohibition of the technique wou...

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