As hydraulic fracturing (fracing) activity increases in Indiana, in the view of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, so too has the need for increased and updated regulations. Last week, Indiana addressed this need in part by adopting new "emergency" regulations for fracing fluid disclosure. These regulations took effect on July 1, 2012, and require the following information to be disclosed immediately after well completion:
- Volume and source of base fluid (water or other substance);
- Type and amount of proppant (sand or other substance);
- Trade name of each additive as identified on the material safety data sheets (MSDS);
- Purpose of each additive; MSDS for each additive;
- Maximum volume of each additive, expressed as a percentage by mass or by volume;
- Copies of documents like well service company job tickets that summarize the products used, pressure recording charts and logs or surveys calculating or mapping the fracture length and height.
Because these emergency regulations modify (rather than replace) Indiana’s existing disclosure rules for coal-bed methane operations, the existing provision protecting trade secrets remains intact under the new regulations. The definition of “base fluid,” however, is broader than we have seen proposed in states like New York, so drillers probably will not be able to avoid fluid disclosure requirements by using liquid propane. Many stakeholders with an interest in Indiana already should be familiar with the requirements of these new rules, as they closely track the disclosures already being voluntarily made on fracfocus.org.