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Energy Panel: Disclose Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Drilling

Photo: shalegas.energy.gov

Energy companies should reveal the chemicals used in a drilling technique, known as fracking, that taps previously inaccessible natural gas deposits, an Energy Department advisory panel said.

The Natural Gas Subcommittee, an advisory board to Secretary Steven Chu, released its 90-day draft report Thursday on shale gas production.

The panel found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has helped grow shale gas to nearly 30 percent of natural gas production in the U.S.

According to the AP, fracking has raised concerns over the safety of drinking water supplies. The panel said there is little risk to drinking water, but also said companies could alleviate concerns through transparency.

“While companies and regulators are moving in this direction, progress needs to be accelerated in light of public concern,” the report says.

The panel also recommended the creation of an industry organization to improve best practices and the federal government support shale gas research and development.

The panel’s final report is scheduled to be released Nov. 18.

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