ASTM proposes standard for shale oil, gas ‘fracking’

To provide best practices for data management and reporting.

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A proposed new ASTM International data management and reporting standard for shale oil and gas operations, including hydraulic fracturing, will provide support for public discussions at the state, national, and even international level, according to an August press release from the Pennsylvania-based standards organization.

Many applications in the fracking process use geosynthetic materials, including drill pad and containment liners, paved and unpaved roads, reinforced walls and slopes, and turf reinforcement and erosion control.

ASTM WK42803, Practice for Data Management and Reporting Associated with Shale Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Operations, is currently under development by Subcommittee D18.26 on Hydraulic Fracturing, part of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock.

The press release said that this subcommittee has been working closely with several organizations that have already produced guidelines and governmental regulations. And European Union and Australia reporting guidelines for their shale oil and gas operations were also reviewed.

The release said “The proposed standard will offer and highlight some data management and reporting best practices tailored to the considerations of the local and regional geologic and hydrogeologic frameworks that impact the resource extraction techniques used within shale oil and gas regions.”

In the U.S., states with shale oil and gas activities include: Texas (Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale), North Dakota (Bakken Shale), Pennsylvania (Marcellus Shale), Louisiana (Haynesville Shale), Ohio (Utica Shale), and California (Monterey Shale).

The proposed standard will focus on data management and reporting in support of four areas: (1) chemical disclosure and reporting; (2) water sources, usage, quality, and sampling; (3) health and environmental risks; and (4) well integrity and testing.

The release said that section members agreed that operational due diligence begins before hydraulic fracturing takes place and continues through the life of wastewater disposal and monitoring. The proposed standard will promote an open process of disclosing operational information in the interest of public and environmental health and safety.

All interested parties, particularly those with expertise in petroleum engineering and other fields related to oil and gas operations, are invited to take part in the development of ASTM WK42803. The next ASTM Committee D18 meetings are Jan. 26–28, 2014, in Houston, Texas.

For more, visit ASTM news or follow @ASTMEnvironment on Twitter.

Technical contact: Caryl Alfaro, Earth Resource Systems LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., +1 404 513 5429; caryl@earthresourcesystems.com.

ASTM staff contact: Robert Morgan, +1 610 832 9732; rmorgan@astm.org.

Source: ASTM International

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