UK Operators Publish Shale Well Guidelines
28 February 2013
United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), the representative body for UK onshore oil and gas companies including exploration, production and storage, is today publishing for the first time industry guidelines covering best practise for shale well operations in the UK.
The guidelines, which include hydraulic fracturing and the public disclosure of fracture fluid composition, were written by a high level workgroup which included operating and service companies with input from The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), The Environment Agency (EA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
The first issue of the guidelines relate to the exploration and appraisal phase of shale gas well developments and contain what is considered to be good industry practice. References where appropriate are made to relevant legislation, industry standards and practices including Oil and Gas UK Guidelines, particularly to the Well Integrity Guidelines (issued in July 2012).
Critically the guidelines set out that operators must publically disclose all chemical additives to fracturing fluids on a well by well basis, including regulatory authorisations, safety data and maximum concentrations and volumes. These disclosures meet or exceed all known standards in the shale gas industry.
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UKOOG said “We have a strong regulatory environment in the UK, it is therefore important that the industry adopts the highest possible standards with respect to well integrity and fracturing operations. The publication of these guidelines demonstrates a commitment to comply with relevant legislation and best practice“.
Energy Minister John Hayes commented: “Shale gas is an exciting opportunity and could contribute significantly to our energy security. It is important that any development is safe and the public must be reassured that it is safe. I welcome these guidelines, which complement our robust regulatory system to ensure all operations are carried out to the highest possible standards and the environment is fully protected.”
UKOOG is the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry including exploration, production and storage. The organisation’s objectives are to enhance the profile of the onshore industry, promote better and more open dialogue with key stakeholders, deliver industry wide initiatives and programmes and to ensure standards in safety, the environment and operations are maintained to the highest possible level. Membership is open to all companies active in the onshore industry including those involved in the supply chain.