Hydraulic fracturing is a safe, proven technology used by the oil and natural gas industry for more than 60 years and in more than a million wells across the United States. This process typically requires the pressurized injection of water to create a localized network of fissures into which we pump sand to allow trapped hydrocarbons to safely flow to the surface. After processing through our production facilities, these hydrocarbons eventually heat our homes and businesses, fuel our vehicles, are a feedstock for manufacturing and generate electricity.
For a more detailed look, see Range's Hydraulic Fracturing Fact Sheet.
We feel that transparency and open dialogue are important to the continued progress of energy development. These principles led Range to become the first company to voluntarily disclose the fracturing fluid for each completed shale gas well on our website. Range complies with state regulations by providing a well-by-well disclosure of completed wells fracturing fluid through Frac Focus, a national disclosure registry for oil and gas exploration founded by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. Range has also supported frac fluid disclosure of Act 13 and voluntary industry trade group efforts.
In Pennsylvania, Act 13 “enacted one of the most aggressive and transparent hydraulic fracturing disclosure laws in the country.….Colorado’s requirements, upon which much of this Act’s disclosure requirements were based, were hailed by progressive industry representatives, environmental organizations and many other groups as a model for other states.” – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Range works with service companies to design and select the most environmentally friendly additives possible for hydraulic fracturing, based on technical needs and feasibility. For a typical shale well, more than 99% of the fracturing fluid is water and sand, the rest is a blend of common additives that are a part of our everyday lives, some of which are biodegradable. For instance, as a best engineering practice, Range has replaced an antimicrobial with a naturally-occurring nitrate-reducing bacteria, which is biodegradable and nonhazardous, in our Pennsylvania operations. The evaluation and implementation of this natural biocide was documented and discussed in the Society of Petroleum Engineering paper Evaluation of a More Environmentally Sensitive Approach to Microbiological Control Programs for Hydraulic Fracturing Operations in the Marcellus Shale Using a Nitrate-Reducing Bacteria and Nitrate-Based Treatment System.
For the vast majority of Range’s activities a well completion may consist of:
Where appropriate, Range utilizes dry chemicals during completions operations in place of liquid chemicals; although we currently use limited quantities of dry chemicals we continually evaluate our processes for improved efficiencies and risk reduction. Risks are mitigated through SOPs, training, and engineered safeguards.
Range’s vendors follow the same rules and regulations required of all companies, including chemical manufacturers and suppliers. Some may include confidential business information (CBI), including those posted to FracFocus or provided to the DEP in completions reports. There is a process to obtain that information if necessary. However, all substances are subject to the Hazard Communication Standard through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, under the United States Department of Labor. The law requires that the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets) for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.
Range does not use diesel fuels, as defined by the EPA, or BTEX in any of our hydraulic fracturing fluids.