The Barnett Shale is more than 7,000 feet below the surface and is comprised of dense non-permeable rock. According to Dr. Ken Morgan, a geologist at Texas Christian University, “Solid hard rocks that are 7000 feet down don’t subside. You have more than a mile of solid rock that holds it all up. Subsidence occurs when you have loose, soft materials like in Houston (sands, clays, etc.) but not in cemented hard rocks like the Barnett Shale.”
Our Members' Commitment to the Public
We agree to:
- Always be honest
- Never promise what we cannot deliver and always deliver what we promise
- Know the facts about our industry, our operations, and our community
- Acknowledge that if we don’t know, we’ll say we don’t know – and take steps to find out
We agree to:
- Communicate in a manner that will cultivate the respect and trust of those impacted by our actions, (i.e. be a good neighbor)
- Make personal contact and education essential parts of our communication process
- Provide educational materials and resources upon request
- Post our company name and contact information at all operation sites
- To post appropriate safety signage at all operation sites
- Address concerns/inquiries in a timely manner
We are committed to :
- Comply with all applicable federal, state, county and city regulations
- Minimize our impacts to the environment and the surrounding neighborhoods
- Conduct ourselves as good neighbors and practice good housekeeping activities on our leases and in the communities in which we operate
- Emphasize safety in our operations to protect the public, our employees and contractors
- Involve appropriate employees and contractors in the understanding of the local regulations and corporate commitments
- Responsible Principles and Operations
Since natural gas exploration in the Barnett Shale began a generation ago, the natural gas industry has made it a priority to operate as a good neighbor. Paramount among those efforts is to operate in a safe, clean and environmentally friendly manner. Our industry is among the most regulated and as most Texans understand, the energy industry has a history of developing positive, long-term relationships in the communities we operate. As members of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council (BSEEC), we believe it is a priority to educate our neighbors on what we are currently doing to develop the shale responsibly and ensure everyone's safety. We have joined together to highlight our responsible practices for natural gas development in the Barnett Shale.
- Air Quality
BSEEC member companies employ the highest health and safety standards to protect the air quality in the Barnett Shale. BSEEC member companies strive for strict compliance with both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the two regulatory agencies overseeing air quality and emissions.
Member companies proactively work toward reducing emissions in North Texas through a variety of practices including, reduced-emission completions, low-emission valves, FLIR infrared cameras, and compressor engine optimization when practical.
BSEEC member companies will continue to operate in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations and work together with regulators to find and fix any emission irregularities.
- Sound Mitigation
We recognize that controlling sound levels from our operations is an important component of operating responsibly. In urban areas, sound abatement processes and technologies, such as acoustic sound walls and ambient monitoring, are employed to mitigate sound produced by our activities.
- Water Management
Texas' water resources are valuable, and operators within the Barnett Shale recognize water as a vital natural resource, and strive to conserve and minimize the use of water whenever possible. We continually test new technologies and improve upon existing technologies to recycle water used during the natural gas production process.
According to a 2006 report from the Texas Water Board and a 2007 study conducted by environmental engineer Dr. Peter Galusky of Texerra, the entire amount of water used for all drilling and fracing operations in the Barnett Shale is only between .5% and 2% of the total water used in this region.
- Safety and Training
We commit to achieve excellence in environmental health and safety performance through the active participation and support of all management, employees and contractors. BSEEC member companies provide our employees with training and tools that ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs to the highest level possible. Further, we require high-quality, environmentally sound, and safe work from each contractor. Our contractors will also continue to retain quality personnel adequately trained to perform their jobs safely.
- Minimizing of Surface Impact
BSEEC member companies seek to minimize operational footprints, particularly in urban settings. With the development of smart technology, this goal is increasingly achievable and we are able to access natural gas more precisely than ever before. Horizontal drilling technology, multiple-well drill sties, closed-loop systems, and 3-D seismic visualization are all helping to minimize the industry's impact on the surface.
In urban areas, drill sites are and will continue to be fenced, screened and/or landscaped to reduce the visual impacts resulting from operations.
In addition to operational considerations, local and municipal ordinances are prescriptive with regard to the sensitivity of aesthetics, screening and landscaping. Existing requirements include fencing, landscaping, ongoing maintenance, and site reclamation.