API reviews fracking standards

June 26, 2013 at 6:39 AM

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- The energy industry in the United States is leading the way in ensuring the safe development of domestic oil and natural gas reserves, a trade group said.

The American Petroleum Institute said it gathered more than 600 experts in Washington to review and develop standards for hydraulic fracturing.

The practice, dubbed fracking, involves the injection of water mixed with sand and trace amounts of chemicals into oil and natural gas wells to facilitate reserve recovery from underground shale formations. Critics of the practice have expressed concern about the fate of the waste associated with fracking, though the extraction technique has positioned the United States as a world leader in oil and natural gas production.

API said it was reviewing industry standards for reliability, environmental safety and the integrity of wells subject to fracking.

"As America continues its re-emergence as a global energy leader, the demands on our energy infrastructure will grow considerably," API President Jack Gerard said in his remarks Tuesday. "API's standard-setting program helps to ensure that America's energy infrastructure remains world class and able to develop responsibly our game-changing energy resources as well as demonstrate our industry's top priority is safety."

API contends it is the industry, and not the federal government, that should drive decisions on oil and natural gas development.

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