DNR Office of Conservation Issues New Regulation for La. Fracking Ops

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Office of Conservation Thursday adopted a new rule requiring oil and gas operators to obtain a work permit and disclose the types of fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process of wells in Louisiana.

Additionally, operators are required to disclose the composition of the fracturing fluids and volumes used after completing the well to the Office of Conservation or to a public registry, such as FracFocus, which was developed by the national Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

Louisiana oil and gas regulations are found in Title 43 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, under Subpart 1, Statewide Order No. 29-B.

La. Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said the new rule provides for more disclosure of information and allows the office to collect technical data not required before.

"With the intense development of the Haynesville Shale and in the interest of being protective of the environment, revising our rules provides substance and transparency," Welsh said.

Welsh explained that the STRONGER, Inc. report issued in March 2011 also recommended this type of amendment to Louisiana's existing regulations.

Since June of this year, the amended rule has made its way through the necessary administrative rule-making process, allowing for public comment along the way. Likewise, the states of Arkansas and Texas have similar requirements.