Oil services firm to disclose fracking chemicals
Last Updated: 17:34 April 25, 2014
Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, doing business as Pressure Pumping as well as Completions and Fishing, operates a facility at 285 County Road 27 near Brighton.
Baker Petrolite, a subsidiary of Baker Hughes, is located at 4625 Industrial Parkway in Evans. Personal property at both those locations is estimated at $900,000, said Weld County assessor Christopher Woodruff.
Baker Hughes is considered among the largest oil field service companies, along with Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL). It has a far smaller presence in Northern Colorado than Halliburton, which is estimated to perform 75 percent of fracking in the region.
The announcement comes amid controversy over hydraulic fracturing on the Front Range, where residents have proposed statewide ballot initiatives aimed at restricting the drilling method. Also known as fracking, the drilling technique involves pumping fluid laced with chemicals deep underground at high pressure to release oil and natural gas trapped in tight shale formations.
Colorado law requires companies to report chemicals to FracFocus.org, an industry website that shows fracking chemicals used in wells in Colorado and other states. Colorado law makes exceptions for chemicals deemed trade secrets by oil companies, but that requires a sworn affidavit from operators.
"For those chemicals, they can withhold certain information under the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure regulation," said David Neslin, former director of the state oil commission.
"They still have to identify the chemical family of the chemical," said Neslin, partner in the law firm Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver. "They still have to provide full information to the state or to health-care professionals where it's required for an investigation."
Fuel Fix reported that Baker Hughes would not claim trade secrets in its reports to FracFocus.
Baker Hughes said the following in a statement on its website: "Where accepted by our customers and relevant governmental authorities, Baker Hughes is implementing a new format that achieves this goal, providing complete lists of the products and chemical ingredients used."
Baker Hughes will disclose "100 percent of the chemical ingredients without compromising our formulations," company spokeswoman Melanie Kania said in an email.
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