Reports: Range Resource Admits it Doesn’t Know Makeup of
9 October 2013
By Katie Colaneri
EnergyWire reports a Pennsylvania judge has ordered a major
drilling operator to disclose the full chemical composition of its
Turns out, that’s not an easy task, according to court documents
that show Range Resources does not know the makeup of the products
it uses to extract natural gas from shale.
More from EnergyWire:
Range sought data from suppliers of 55 fracking-related products,
but only four were able to provide the necessary details by March
25. Others did not respond, refused on proprietary grounds or
required additional information to carry out the request.
“You’re talking parts per billion of different products that are
used to make a specific additive,” [Range spokesman Matt]
Pitzarella said, explaining the delay. “The way they list that
information, you’d still have to get that from a manufacturer.”
He called it “unfair” to single out the oil and gas industry,
noting that it would be difficult for anyone to list the exact
contents and concentrations in a can of chili or a Coca-Cola.
The judge’s order was part of the discovery phase of a Washington
County man’s appeal against Range and the Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Protection over allegations the operator
contaminated the man’s water well.
A DEP employee made headlines last fall when a deposition from the
Kiskadden case revealed the agency had been withholding
information about about water contamination related to natural gas
The Huffington Post posted court documents online that show Range
Resources hit road blocks when it attempted to get information
from chemical suppliers.
More from The Huffington Post:
One example on the list is Airfoam HD, a type of surfactant used
to release gas from wells. The list indicates that Range sent an
email and made a phone call seeking a full list of components of
the product, but had not yet received a response. “Phone call and
follow-up email requesting that we resend MSDS [Material Safety
Data Sheet]. Awaiting additional information,” Range’s note
According to the notes, the company that provides another product,
known as Flo Stop P, informed Range that it doesn’t actually
produce the product, they just apply a label to it and resell it.
The reseller could not provide additional information about the
contents. Other companies said they would not provide the
information without a protective order.
One company, Hi-Mar Specialties, declined to provide additional
information about its defoaming agent Hi-Mar DFC-503, saying that
the information was “proprietary” and disclosure “would cause
substantial harm to Hi-Mar’s business,” according to Range’s
“Range admits that it does not have an all-encompassing knowledge
of the complete chemical formula of every product used at the
Yeager Site by Range and/or its subcontractors, as some products
contain proprietary compounds which may not be known to Range and
many of the MSDS do not list the non-hazardous components of
products,” the company’s environmental engineering manager stated
in another document…
Under the state’s new drilling law known as Act 13, companies are
required to submit reports to DEP detailing chemicals used during
fracking. The lists are published on FracFocus.org, which has
become a controversial national clearinghouse for
fracking disclosure information.
Critics say that the DEP can’t possibly enforce that requirement
if Range itself says it doesn’t have a full accounting of all the
chemicals used in its processes.