Update: State Regulators Dispute “Findings” of Congressional Democrats Concerning Diesel Fuel Used in Hydraulic Fracturing

The Platts energy news service has already unearthed some problems with the statements made yesterday by Congressional Democrats Henry Waxman, Edward Markey and Diana DeGette that claim some energy services companies are injecting “millions of gallons” of diesel fuel into hydraulically fractured wells, violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. It seems (surprise!) some of the so-called facts they shared with the EPA are not quite accurate according to the agencies which actually regulate drilling in their states:

Lawrence Bengal, director of the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, told Platts Tuesday that the statement released by the lawmakers contained misleading information about the extent of the use of diesel in frack jobs in his state.

According to a chart included in the representatives’ statement, 414,492 gallons of diesel fuel or diesel-related products were injected into Arkansas wells during the study period.

But Bengal said the actual volume of diesel fuel might be much less than the chart appears to suggest.

“As you read those charts, it talks about diesel fuel components in the frack fluid. It doesn’t say the actual amount of diesel. The charts are misleading as to what they’re saying,” he said.

Not only did they get it wrong with respect to Arkansas, but for Alabama as well:

Alabama had 2,464 gallons of diesel or diesel-related products injected into its wells during the study period, the third from the bottom on the lawmakers’ chart in terms of volumes.

However, David Bolin, deputy director of the Alabama Oil and Gas Board, told Platts he believed the number should have been zero. “I’m not aware of any fracking that has used diesel fuel in that time period,” he said.

*Platts (Feb 1) – State officials say use of diesel in frack jobs not a big problem

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