Halliburton working on green fracking

Sept. 7, 2011 at 7:01 AM

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Oil and natural gas contractor Halliburton announced it was looking to develop a greener process to coax natural gas out of shale formations.

The United States, Poland and Ukraine are world leaders in shale gas deposits, with analysts saying those reserves could help secure each country's energy future.

Energy companies use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to coax natural gas out of shale formations. The chemicals used in fracking fluid have raised concerns of environmentalists because of possible water contamination.

Halliburton Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar was quoted by the Platts news service as telling an energy conference in New York that his company was looking at fracking fluids that were considered safer for the environment.

Lesar recognized that water "is an emotional issue," adding one of the proposed ingredients is a common fixture in off-the-shelf cake mixes.

"Who can argue against these chemicals if they go into our food every day?" he asked.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in February said eight of the nine companies that practice fracking voluntarily handed over information to help the agency examine the practice. It had to subpoena Halliburton for its records, however.

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