by Daniel J. Graeber
Irving, Texas (UPI) Oct 1, 2014
Exxon Mobil told investors it was taking the steps necessary to allay the concerns about the consequences of using hydraulic fracturing in the United States.
Hydraulic fracturing involves injection of large volumes of water mixed with sand and a trace amount of chemicals to stimulate the release of oil and natural gas from shale formations that would otherwise not yield natural resources.
Environmental advocacy groups have expressed concerns ranging from the prevalence of minor tremors, to groundwater and surface contamination tied to the practice known also as fracking.
"Hydraulic fracturing has been responsibly and safely used by the oil and gas industry for more than 60 years, but the process isn't without risks," Jeffrey Woodbury, vice president of investor relations, for Exxon, said in a statement.
Exxon outlined in a 36-page report the steps it takes to mitigate risks from fracking, describing everything from the design of well casings to the surface footprint of fracking sites.
In terms of the chemicals used in fracking fluid, Exxon said Tuesday it respects the right to intellectual property, but also believes "community members have a right to full disclosure of all ingredients used in these fluids."
Exxon last month acquired 17,000 acres in the Permian shale basin in Texas. Permian production increased 58 percent from 2007 to reach 1.35 million barrels per day last year, which represents 18 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.
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