Global oil and gas industry support company Halliburton launched a website Monday listing ingredients commonly used to hydrofracture gas wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region.
The company also has introduced a new line of hydrofracturing ingredients sourced entirely from the food industry, a technology that will use ultraviolet light to control bacteria in the well, and an on-site recycling system designed to reduce the use of fresh water in the fracking process.
The site can be accessed at www.halliburton.com/hydraulicfracturing.
According to company spokeswoman Teresa Wong, the frack fluid disclosure site was developed to allow landowners, government officials and other interested parties access to information that was, up to this point, not easily available.
The company plans to disclose frack chemicals used in shale plays in other areas of the country, but chose to start with Pennsylvania because of the amount of drilling activity going on in the state.
"Obviously, the Marcellus Shale is one of the most active areas in the United States," Wong said. "We're committed to doing it with every state, but we had to start somewhere and did start with Pennsylvania."
Wong said Halliburton does not drill gas wells in Pennsylvania. It is hired by gas drilling companies to provide fracking services at well sites.
The site offers lists of additives used in three types of frack formulas commonly used by the company in Pennsylvania, the individual components - or "constituents" - of those ingredients and the common uses of those constituents, Wong said.
Additives are broken down into product name, additive type, purpose and concentration levels.
For example, the product BE-9 is identified as a biocide that limits the growth of bacteria in the well. Its concentration level is 0.3 gallons per 1,000 gallons of water.
The product FR-66 is a friction reducer that allows frack fluid to move down the well with the least amount of resistance. It is used at a concentration of 0.5-to-1 gallons per 1,000 gallons of water, according to the site.
Constituents are on a separate list and are broken down into constituent name, generic name, Chemical Abstract Services - or "CAS" - number, common use and whether the material is listed as hazardous in the Material Safety Data Sheet.
CAS numbers are numeric identifiers that allow people to more easily retrieve information about a particular substance.
For example, the constituent ammonium chloride is known generically as inorganic salt. Its CAS number is 12125-02-9. It is commonly used for hand washing, shampoo and breakfast cereals, and is considered hazardous.
Formaldehyde is generically known as aldehyde. Its CAS number is 50-00-0. It is used for liquid detergent, school glue and hand soap and is not considered hazardous.
Wong said the information on the site is unrelated to a subpoena by the federal Environmental Protection Agency requesting the company to reveal the fracking chemicals it uses.
The agency is in the midst of a study designed to determine the impact of fracking on fresh water supplies. As part of that study, it asked Halliburton and other companies to provide a list of the materials they use in the process.
Wong said the company has been working with the agency since it requested that information be turned over voluntarily.
The company provided the agency with more than 5,000 documents before the subpoena was issued, she said.
Wong said the company is "disappointed" the agency subpoenaed what amounts to about 50,000 spread sheets.
However, the list does go a long way in providing the public with information that will "demystify" the fracking process, Wong said.
"People are afraid of what they don't know," Wong said.
The site also contains information on CleanStim, a company-trademarked frack fluid system that uses materials commonly used by the food industry. The company notes on the site that although the ingredients are from the food industry, the system "should not be considered edible."
The company's CleanStream system uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria in the well bore, thus reducing the amount of biocides that must be used at the well. Bacteria can cause corrosion in pipes and impede the effectiveness of frack fluids, according to the site.
CleanWave is a mobile water treatment unit that allows gas drilling companies to reuse flowback water.