Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
EPA Subpoenas Natural Gas Records from Halliburton
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Federal regulators have subpoenaed records from energy company Halliburton in a clash that could have ramifications for New York's natural gas industry.
EPA scientists want to know what chemicals the company has used in hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technique used in gas extraction. But Halliburton has refused to hand over records of the chemicals it uses to frack -- or open up -- new gas reserves.
According to the Assosciated Press, the EPA asked eight other companies to supply them with the same information. The EPA said that with the exception of Halliburton, all of the other companies have either complied with their request or made commitments to do so. The AP reports that these companie are BJ Services, Complete Production Services, Key Energy Services, Patterson-UTI, RPC, Inc., Schlumberger, Superior Well Services Inc. and Weatherford.
New York sits on a giant natural gas deposit, but there's no "fracking" happening in the state yet, because regulators are studying the risks. In neighboring Pennsylvania, fracking has triggered a number of spills and explosions. Some fracking chemicals are suspected carcinogens, but fracking is exempt from federal regulation.
It's estimated the combined reserves in New York and Pennsylvania could meet all of America's energy needs for several years.
A Halliburton spokesperson said the EPA's request is too vague and would result in a mountain of paper, but the company is making efforts to honor the request.