Houston, Texas (26 March 2015) – A new final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands will only result in increased costs and regulatory redundancy, ultimately impacting America’s long term energy security, stated IADC President and CEO Stephen Colville.
The final rule, issued by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in today’s Federal Register, includes requirements that replicate controls already in place. These existing requirements themselves enshrine the good oilfield standards that the industry has routinely practiced for many years and continuously improves. BLM estimates that the rule will impose additional annual costs of $32 million. However, other estimates place these expenses much higher.
“IADC strongly disagrees with the necessity of the BLM rule, which creates more bureaucracy at the cost of positive economic impact for states with hydraulic fracturing operations,” said Mr. Colville. “While we are focused on continuous improvement in all facets of drilling and production operations, we believe that the implementation of duplicative rules with regard to hydraulic fracturing are burdensome and pointless and therefore without merit.”
Numerous respected scientific studies have confirmed there is no harmful environmental impact from today’s hydraulic fracturing operations. These operations have been central to America becoming virtually energy self-sufficient, driving energy costs to one-half of those in Europe, and one third of China’s. Further, the combination of hydraulic fracturing with technologies developed by drilling contractors has been instrumental in employing more than half a million Americans, both directly and indirectly.
“It is noteworthy that hydraulic fracturing has been conducted safely and responsibly in the US for more than 60 years and states have successfully regulated these activities for decades. It appears that BLM has published the final rule without definitive consultation with the states affected by it, and without properly weighing the economic impact against the benefits expected. IADC will never object to regulation that is necessary and beneficial, however, this new rule adds an unnecessary and duplicative layer of regulations. As an added layer of compliance, the rule creates unnecessary costs to an industry that plays a major part in this country’s economy in terms of low energy costs and high employment. It is disheartening that this rule will impact future industry growth.”
Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is to catalyze improved performance for the drilling industry by enhancing operational integrity and championing better regulation to facilitate safer, cleaner and more efficient drilling operations worldwide. For more information, visit the IADC website at www.iadc.org.