How to Prosper Under Government Frac Regulations
With the seemingly never-ending search for hydrocarbons to fuel economic growth and quality of life around the world, hydraulic fracturing has experienced massive growth in North America, and grows in importance in the rest of the world.
The technological know-how to extract oil and natural gas from low permeability formations, such as shale, tight sands, and coal bed methane deposits, has taken the world overnight from a possible energy crisis to the current oversupply scenario. Fracturing has changed the landscape of the energy supply/demand equation and will likely ensure sufficient energy supplies for the remainder of the century. However, the very success of the industry has led to the current oversupply of oil & gas, as well as increased scrutiny by regulators and the public.
Take Ownership of Government Fracturing Regulations
Although hydraulic fracturing has been around since the 1940’s, widespread success and adoption of the procedure has propelled it into the forefront of environmental debates. Consequently oil and gas operators must consider a number of stakeholders –many which have competing interest — including resource owners, customers, employees, shareholders, the environment, and the public interest.
Similar to any ground-breaking technology or procedures introduced in the industry, the exploration, extraction, and development of North America’s shale oil & gas resources through fracking has led to plenty of discussions about the impact of fracking.
With new government fracturing laws guaranteed to multiply and to become stricter, oil industry executives must make the shrewd adjustments in a very contentious environment. Company decision-makers need to appreciate the impact of the political, environmental and legal climates in influencing government laws related to fracking and subsequent litigation. Those who do will gain competitive advantage over companies that fail to get ahead of the wave.
Be Proactive in Employing Best Practices
Smart operators accept the inevitability of additional government frac regulations going forward. Consequently these oil and gas executives go beyond the requirements of current regulations and compliance — they operate their businesses using cutting edge best practices, including:
- Putting in place a dedicated compliance group to not only ensure that their operations adhere to local regulations, but also to promote standardization across the company regardless of the jurisdiction, which increases organizational cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
- Incorporating business processes that addresses environmental and public health concerns regardless of whether it’s required in the jurisdiction.
- Consideration of non-toxic chemical alternatives to current fracking chemicals.
- Employing innovative technologies to make operations more effective and to track and record data related to operations for future, or to comply with future regulations.
Most government fracturing regulations will be tailored to geological and local requirements. By anticipating trends, refining techniques, and adopting best practices, oil and gas operators enhance their position as thought leaders empathetic to the need for safe and environmentally-friendly practices, which will make it easier to influence and thrive under future government fracturing regulations.