By: Peter M. Duncan
Despite frequent articles to the contrary from the majority of the media, the US exploration and production industry holds itself to the highest environmental and safety standards, often exceeding basic requirements from regulators. These efforts are not just to protect their employees and the environment, but to gain the public confidence that's needed to continue to explore for the valuable alternative energy resources we need in places such as the Marcellus Shale.
Senior Vice President Ray Walker, of natural gas drilling company Range Resources, may have said it best, "We can no longer just say 'Tell me what the rules are, I'll do that.' ... You've got to do things above and beyond the way it used to be. Eventually regulation will pull itself up to that level and we'll raise the bar."
"Unfortunately, the press talks to people on the fringe because that's the story, that's what makes the 'Gasland' movie," he said.
To Walker's point, especially in Pennsylvania, many citizens are anxious about allowing gas development into their area, with concerns about groundwater contamination running rampant.
I wish that I had the ability to take every Pennsylvanian (for starters) on a complete tour of the frac'ing process. MicroSeismic's technology is not only best-in-class, but it's smart. Our real-time monitoring and mapping of hydraulic fracture operations allows operators to actually see where the frac is. It's like an underground x-ray.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. The exploration and production process is not haphazard, nor is it led by the stereotypical "Bubbas" that so many people exploit. This industry is built on the very cutting edge of technology. The scientists working for MicroSeismic and other companies are the top in their field. We care about our employees and the environment and we wouldn't jeopardize either. It's time for the media to find something else negative to write about and for the public to take the initiative to educate themselves on the truth.