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Permitting and Hydraulic Fracturing, Leslie Savage


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Permitting and Hydraulic Fracturing, Leslie Savage

  1. 1. Reducing Environmental Impact of Unconventional Resource Development Texas Regulations and Permitting Texas Groundwater Summit August 29, 2012 Leslie Savage, Railroad Commission of Texas
  2. 2. Texas E&P Overview• +1.25 wells drilled since 1866• Depths of 100 to +30,000 feet• 238/254 counties• 7,500 active operators• Total active producing wells: •152,000 Oil wells • 104,000 Gas wells• #1 US Producer: •343 million barrels oil • 7.6 Tcf natural gas• $114.43 billion to TX economy
  3. 3. Texas E&P Overview• +1.25 wells drilled since 1866• Depths of 100 to +30,000 feet• 238/254 counties• 7,500 active operators• Total active producing wells: •152,000 Oil wells • 104,000 Gas wells• #1 US Producer: •343 million barrels oil • 7.6 Tcf natural gas• $114.43 billion to TX economy
  4. 4. ISSUES• Well locations• Hydraulic fracturing, including chemicals• Pipelines (imminent domain)• Waste management• Groundwater/Surface water availability/quality• Safety• Air• Ecosystem• Traffic• Noise• Scenery
  5. 5. RRC JURISDICTION• Well spacing, density, drilling, completion (including HF), production, and plugging• Pipelines• Safety• Waste management : – Storage – Transport – Disposal – NORM disposal
  6. 6. NOT RRC JURISDICTION• Traffic• Noise• Scenic impact• Property values• Zoning
  7. 7. SOME RRC JURISDICTION• Water Use – RRC: Encourage and regulate recycling – TCEQ: Temporary surface water rights – TCEQ/TWDB/GCDs: Groundwater withdrawal• Air – RRC: Flaring/venting/H2S (safety) – TCEQ/EPA: Pollutant emissions
  8. 8. Hydraulic FracturingPracticed since early1950sFirst large scale BarnettShale hydraulicfracturing stimulation:1986Over 13,000 wellsstimulated in theBarnett Shale Play since1986
  10. 10. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING – CHEMICAL DISCLOSURE• FracFocus – GWPC/IOGCC, INDUSTRY – National registry for disclosure of HF chemicals – April, 2011 roll-out – MSDS chemicals – Voluntary
  11. 11. FRACFOCUS• Currently a collection of PFDs• Conversion to database October 2012• Queries • Dates ? • Water volumes ? • Other ?
  12. 12. HB 3328 – CHEMICAL DISCLOSURERRC Rules:• Use of FracFocus• Service companies to supply information• Allow Trade Secrets• Limited challenges to Trade Secret• Provide information to emergency responders and health professionals
  13. 13. SWR 29 – CHEMICAL DISCLOSURE• Definitions• Applicability• Required disclosures• Disclosures not required• Trade Secret protection• Trade Secret challenge• Trade Secret confidentiality• Penalties
  14. 14. SWR 29 – CHEMICAL DISCLOSUREApplicability HF Treatment performed on a well forwhich RRC has issued initial drilling permiton or after February 1, 2012
  15. 15. SWR 29 – CHEMICAL DISCLOSURE• MSDS Chemicals • Provide all information requested by FracFocus• Non-MSDS Chemicals • Provide chemical names and CAS#
  16. 16. SWR 29 – CHEMICAL DISCLOSURE• Disclosures not required: • Ingredients not intentionally added • Ingredients not disclosed to operator • Ingredients that occur naturally or are otherwise unintentionally present • Specific ingredients eligible for Trade Secret protection
  17. 17. WELL COMPLETION• Surface casing and cement• Production casing and cement• Tubing and packer• Casing must be pressure tested to max to which it will be subjected• Well control at all times• Quality cement; testing• Centralizers
  18. 18. Protected Ground Water •Surface casing set and cemented thru deepest useable water quality aquifer •Depth of protected ground water defined by RRC GAU on a well by well basis
  19. 19. SWR 13 – Casing, Cementing, Completion Requirements• Proposed amendments: • Transfer of TCEQ Surface Casing Section to RRC Groundwater Advisory Unit • Update references to standards • Update requirements for drilling, casing, cementing, and fracture stimulation • Add requirements for “minimal separation wells” - distance between protection depth and top of FM to be fractured < 1000 feet
  20. 20. Waste Management Regulations
  21. 21. SWR 9/46 – Disposal/Injection Wells• Proposed amendments: • Clarification of existing requirements • Notice • Amendment of existing permits • Special conditions for certain areas • All wells w/in AoR have adequate and properly placed cement to ensure confinement of injected fluids within permitted interval • No automatic transfer of commercial disposal well permits
  22. 22. Recycling Regulations• Proposed amendments: • Authorize certain on-lease, non-commercial recycling of hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid, with conditions • Clarify permitting requirements for commercial or centralized recycling of hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid
  23. 23. RECYCLING???
  24. 24. Leslie Savage, P.G. Chief Geologist Oil & Gas Division Railroad Commission of Texas Leslie.savage@rrc.state.tx.usHowever beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. Winston Churchill