Study Finds Diesel Fuel Still Being Used in Hundreds of Frack Jobs
Diesel fuel has been used to "frack" at least 138 wells in the United States in the past year and a half, according to data filed by drillers with the FracFocus.org registry.
But if the definition of diesel proposed by U.S. EPA were used, that figure would rise to 408, according to an EnergyWire analysis of FracFocus data provided by PIVOT Upstream Group.
The data from PIVOT's D-Frac database show that diesel fuel is still used in hydraulic fracturing, despite industry reassurances that it had been all but discontinued.
They also define the terms of the disagreement between EPA and the companies that do the fracking as they try to figure out regulations for fracking with diesel. EPA's definition would have covered about 270 more wells.
Environmental groups say federal law requires a permit for hydraulic fracturing with diesel, so each instance is an environmental violation.
Oil and gas companies note they cannot get a permit because EPA has never created one. And, they say, there is no indication that fracking with diesel has damaged the environment."They're violating the law, and EPA ought to be enforcing it," said Dusty Horwitt of the Environmental Working Group.
"The question is, did you create an environmental problem by using it, and the answer is 'no,'" said Lee Fuller of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.