Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) has joined forces with FracFocus.ca to get oil and gas companies to publicly disclose information on the fluids used in their hydraulic fracturing operations.
On Wednesday, the NEB signed an agreement with the BC Oil and Gas Commission – which runs the FracFocus website – the US-based Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
"We understand that Canadians demand that hydraulic fracturing be done safely, responsibly and transparently," NEB CEO Gaétan Caron noted in a statement. "Joining FracFocus.ca is another step in making sure Canadians have ready access to important information on the process and understand how the NEB promotes safety and environmental protection for these types of activities."
All companies regulated by the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act will have 30 days after a fracturing operation is complete to post on FracFocus.ca details of their practices and the fluids they used. The areas under this jurisdiction include the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, the Arctic offshore and certain frontier lands and offshore areas not covered by provincial and federal agreements.
The NEB expects this intiative to be fully operational by early 2014.
Hydraulic fracturing is strongly opposed by various environmental groups, primarily because of the chemicals used in the process. Hydraulic fracturing blends are often exempt from disclosure because they're considered a trade secret.