CA Looks at New Fracking Rules

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 @ 06:05 PM gHale

Fracking is undergoing more scrutiny in California as oil and gas regulators want to propose new regulations and re-examine existing rules for underground injection wells.

The Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) released a “road map” earlier this month outlining its plan to revisit the state’s oversight of underground injection wells to better protect drinking water supplies and workers.

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As part of the process, the division said it would look at the use of carbon dioxide as an enhanced oil recovery tool, the storing of carbon dioxide in injection wells, and the reinjection of waste gas.

“It’s a to-do list of Division priorities for the near-term, some of which involve hydraulic fracturing regulations,” said DOGGR spokesman Don Drysdale.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping water, chemicals, and other substances into shale formations at high pressure to enhance natural gas extraction. Injection wells are for deep-underground storage of wastewater, including “flowback” water from fracking.

DOGGR said it will hold a series of public workshops to gather input for new fracking regulations, which it plans to propose by the end of the summer. Also, DOGGR said it will commission an independent study of the impact of fracking in California.

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