Alberta regulator to launch fracking chemical website
Chemicals used include nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide
A provincial regulator is pledging to be more transparent about fracking in Alberta by launching a website later this year that plans to show every chemical used in each fracking operation.
More Albertans are wanting information about fracking activity, said Cal Hill, the Energy Resources Conservation Board's (ERCB) executive manager of regulatory development.
Fracking commonly involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to loosen up oil or gas reserves.
"There is a public concern that they don't know what the chemicals are that go into the ground," he said. "Our view has been that not only the chemicals in the ground may not be things you want to ingest, but neither are some of the fluids that come out of the ground."
Chemicals used include nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide, and the mixture is often patented by the companies that use them. The ERCB is still figuring out the details, like if disclosure would only be mandatory for new wells and whether that would include refracking older wells.
Critics say fracking leads to groundwater contamination and earthquakes, but provincial officials say there are no documented cases for either of those claims.
In B.C., the information is already made public.