Baker Hughes – a leading supplier of oilfield services – is following in Chevron’s footsteps by deciding to disclose 100 per cent of the chemistry contained within its hydraulic fracturing fluid systems, without the use of any trade secret designations.
Earlier in September the Amercian giant Chevron decided to voluntarily meet 15 standards – including reduced flaring, methane emission controls, frack water recycling, higher quality controls on well construction and more rigorous groundwater protection efforts – put forward by The Center for Sustainable Shale, an industry-backed group with environmentalist members in the Marcellus Shale region.
Similarly, in a bid to make shale exploration more acceptable to the broader public, Baker Hughes announced in March of this year its plans to provide complete lists of all of its products and chemical constituents for all wells it fractures using its hydraulic fracturing fluid products, without detailing specific product formulations. The move was designed to increase public trust in the process of hydraulic fracturing, while still protecting the market-driven commercial innovation.
“Introducing greater transparency about the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and protecting the ability to innovate are not conflicting goals,” said Derek Mathieson, Baker Hughes chief strategy officer. “The policy we are implementing today is consistent with our belief that we are partners in solving industry challenges, and that we have a responsibility to provide the public with the information they want and deserve. It simultaneously enables us to protect proprietary information that is critical to our growth.”
For each fracturing job the company performs on or after October 1, 2014, the policy mandates that Baker Hughes will disclose a single list of all of the chemical constituents of its products used, while also specifying their maximum concentrations.
Baker Hughes’ policy is fully compatible with the online national hydraulic fracturing chemical registry known as FracFocus. All of the company’s disclosure forms can be found at www.fracfocus.org.
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