Category Archives: Key Documents

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OSHA Intensifies Its Focus On the Upstream Oil & Gas Industry

Partner Wayne D’Angelo co-authored the IPAA Access Magazine Summer 2015 article “Workplace Safety: OSHA Ramps Up Investigations and Enforcement in the Upstream Industry.” The article discusses the U.S. Occupational Health Administration’s increased focus on the upstream oil and gas industry as shown by the sector’s inclusion in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. This issue is … Continue Reading

Thank You Veterans!

The Kelley Drye team was honored to host a number of veterans and others at our Washington, DC office on Friday to view the Arsenal of Democracy, an antique air armada flyover to mark the 70th anniversary of V-E Day and the end of World War II. We here at Fracking Insider are honored to … Continue Reading

Study Finds Chemicals in Fracking Fluids No More Toxic Than Common Household Products

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that surfactant chemicals extracted from samples of hydraulic fracturing fluids are no more toxic than common household products. The researchers’ November 12th statement noted that the chemicals identified in the fracking fluids are also found in consumer products, including toothpastes, laxatives, detergents, … Continue Reading

Thank You Veterans!

The team at Fracking Insider is honored to work alongside a number of distinguished veterans, including our own fearless leader, John Wittenborn (USAF Ret.), and we are proud of the veterans in our families as well (Thanks Pop!). In honor of Veterans Day, the veterans in our lives, and all the men and women who … Continue Reading

Commerce Department Places Severe Restrictions on Fracking Equipment Sales to Russia

This post was prepared by guest bloggers Eric McClafferty (202-342-8841) and Michael Dobson (202-342-8517), attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren’s Export Controls and Compliance Practice. Earlier today, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a Federal Register notice (79 Fed. Reg. 151, 45675-82) describing expanded export controls on Russia. BIS previously implemented severe restrictions on licensable … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 33

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 33 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Virginia. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate … Continue Reading

Coast Guard Proposes to Allow Bulk Transport of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

The U.S. Coast Guard issued a proposed policy letter on October 30th that puts forward a process to issue endorsements to barge owners to transport shale gas extraction wastewater in bulk. The letter creates specific conditions that barge owners would have to meet to obtain a certificate of inspection endorsement allowing wastewater transport. Barge owners … Continue Reading

EIA Begins Monthly Publication of Drilling Productivity Report

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has begun monthly publication of a new Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), which will provide analysis of regional measurements of drilling rig efficiency, well productivity, well decline rates, and overall production trends. The report will initially cover six production basins: the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara, and Permian basins, which … Continue Reading

Peer-Reviewed Study Finds Natural Gas Wells Leak Less Methane Than Feared

The first of sixteen planned papers exploring the issue of emissions from natural gas production was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and its findings could help allay fears of escaped methane contributing to climate change. The research was commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund and a handful of oil … Continue Reading

Analysis Suggests Rapid Upward Migration of Brine and Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids Unlikely

An article to be published in an upcoming issue of Groundwater includes analysis suggesting that the rapid upward migration of brine and hydraulic fracturing fluids, which has been predicted to occur as a result of increased hydraulic fracturing activity, is not physically plausible due to the following characteristics of sedimentary basins in which black shales … Continue Reading

Peer-Reviewed Research Suggests Drinking Water Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing Unlikely

An article to be published in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters includes research suggesting that contamination of potable groundwater through fractures and faults in the hydraulic fracturing process is extremely unlikely. The research gauges the upper limits of vertical fracture growth by comparing fracture heights that have been inferred from microseismic observations to … Continue Reading

FOIA Requests Target Political Interference in EPA Fracking Decisions

The American Tradition Institute (ATI), along with the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC), recently filed two requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the EPA to release correspondence received from administration sources potentially directing the Agency in its investigation of groundwater contamination it attributed to drilling operations near Dimock, Pennsylvania. The … Continue Reading

Study Rules Out Biological Source for Stray Gas in PA Water Wells

A recent study of Marcellus Shale natural gas production found that drinking water contamination came from a thermogenic, rather than biological, source. The study was headed by Duke University biology professor Rob Jackson and aided by researchers from the University of Rochester and California Polytechnic State University. The results of the study were published June … Continue Reading

Study: Pathways for Gas Migration Into Groundwater Not Created by Hydraulic Fracturing

The image of water flowing from a tap being ignited with a lighter has become heavily associated with hydraulic fracturing in the minds of the public. But a recent research paper published by the National Ground Water Association’s peer-reviewed journal, Groundwater, suggests this widespread image may be a mirage. The paper, published in the May/June issue … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup

Vol 1.   – Disclosure Although the oil and gas industry has been hydraulically fracturing wells for decades, recent recoveries of natural gas and oil from shale plays has sparked an exponential expansion in the frequency and geography (i.e., extent) of these wells.   As fracking operations have expanded in number  and to states and regions unaccustomed … Continue Reading

The Cart Versus The Horse

Sometimes EPA enforcement actions are the “cart” following up to ensure compliance with duly promulgated compliance requirements.  But sometimes, enforcement activities can be the “horse,” incorporating as injunctive relief in settlements provisions that are anticipatory of future regulatory requirements.  The decade-long enforcement initiative against domestic refineries is an example of the later approach (see recent … Continue Reading