Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association: More Federal Fracking Regulations Not Needed

By Tuttle, D Ray | THE JOURNAL RECORD, March 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association: More Federal Fracking Regulations Not Needed


Tuttle, D Ray, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Federal regulations on shale oil and natural gas developments are unnecessary and unwarranted, said Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association President Mike Terry on Thursday.

Terry was responding to a report from the American Petroleum Institute that a dozen separate federal and state government agencies are looking to study and potentially add layers of regulations on hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technology that has been practiced since 1940s and on which 70 percent of natural gas wells depend today.

The OIPA, based in Oklahoma City, and the API in Washington, D.C., are oil and gas trade groups.

Kyle Isakower, API vice president for economics and regulatory policy, said Thursday during a teleconference that federal regulatory plans could undermine the development of U.S. energy resources and threaten energy security in the U.S.

"More regulation could increase costs and delays for operators, which could harm new projects, sacrificing thousands of new jobs and depriving government of billions in revenue," Isakower said.

Isakower cited an analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers that reported shale gas development could support about 1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs by 2025.

"To realize the full extent of this promise, therefore, we must be thoughtful about any changes to an already robust regulatory structure for hydraulic fracturing," he said. "We don't need unnecessary or duplicative rules from multiple federal agencies."

Under the Obama administration, the energy sector is seeing less leasing and slower permitting on federal lands and waters and increases in royalty rates and minimum bids, Isakower said.

A study by EIS Solutions showed that Bureau of Land Management leases are down 44 percent and permits are down 39 percent from 2007 and 2008, compared to 2009 and 2010.

Isakower urged the administration to reconsider adding unnecessary layers of federal regulation on hydraulic fracturing.

Isakower, speaking for the API, encouraged policymakers and elected officials to keep shale energy development moving forward.

The use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has opened new oil and natural gas fields and brought new life to historic fields across the country, including in Oklahoma, Terry said. …

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