API has 'golden age' of shale gas

May 30, 2012 at 8:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- A draft report from the IEA confirms the shale natural gas industry in the United States is changing the face of domestic energy, a trade group said.

The International Energy Agency released a draft report, "Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas," that spells out the future scenario for the shale natural gas industry.

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, in a statement, said the technology exists so shale gas can be produced in an environmentally acceptable way.

Erik Milito, director of upstream operations for the American Petroleum Institute, said the IEA report was an acknowledgement of a shale revolution led by the oil and natural gas industry.

"The IEA and others around the world see these benefits and are looking to the United States as the leader in safe and responsible shale energy production," he said in a statement.

Hydraulic fracturing, also referred to as fracking, uses a mixture of water, abrasives and chemicals to coax oil and natural gas from shale rock formations. Environmental groups, however, say some of the chemicals could contaminate water supplies.

Van der Hoeven said shale practices were at risk unless the industry demonstrates "exemplary performance" in its operations.

Milito said the API, which includes more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, was committed to best practices and disclosure through FracFocus, a voluntary disclosure database.

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