The oil and gas industry has been under increased scrutiny for its use of chemicals during exploration and production. Public perception is that hydraulic fracturing leads to chemical exposure and potential effects on human health and the environment. Some state agencies have adopted rules that call for the disclosure of chemicals intentionally added to hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Oil and natural gas industry service providers have started promoting the use of “green” chemicals for hydraulic fracturing by developing their own hazard scoring programs. As an E&P company, Noble Energy, Inc. has developed a chemical risk prioritization scoring process that identifies the chemicals which pose the highest risks to people and the environment. It considers both chemical hazards and exposure scenarios in the determination of the relative risk to human health and/or the environment related to company-specific activities throughout the E&P life cycle.
The chemical risk prioritization scoring process streamlines the identification of products with chemical constituents where no additional evaluation is warranted because relative risk is minimal. This allows a more detailed evaluation to occur for a smaller set of products identified as containing chemicals with higher potential risk. It also informs the company of products with chemical constituents for which little hazard information is available, aiding industry in working with the chemical manufacturers to better characterize the potential hazard.
The presentation will illustrate Noble’s process and discuss the challenges that they faced in developing the program.