New Guide Will Help Manage Hydraulic Fracturing Data
A new ASTM International standard will help bring clarity to information and data management of hydraulic fracturing processes. The organization’s committee on soil and rock (D18) has developed the new guide (D8053) that offers recommendations for how to collect, manage, report, and access data associated with the process.
“The goal of this standard is to foster more transparency regarding oil and gas development involving hydraulic fracturing through improved information delivery to the public,” says ASTM International member Tom Smith, attorney-at-law. “The guide examines the regulatory frameworks of data flow, reporting, and information delivery, and offers suggestions for improving the communication throughout operations.”
Smith notes that much of this information is already being collected, but it is often not in a form that is helpful. In addition, he says, fracturing raises environmental, health, and safety concerns that were not being contemplated when legacy reporting systems were first developed.
The guide presents information and options to advance the availability of more comprehensive, publicly accessible information that is relevant to various stakeholders. In addition, the guide will allow for more consistent approaches to data collection, management, and evaluation, which is necessary to ensure the design and construction of safe oil and gas development operations.
The standard covers three broad categories in which most decisions are made: planning and permitting; regulatory compliance; and impacts to human health and environment.
A wide range of stakeholders could find the proposed standard useful, including:
- Consulting engineers/contractors;
- Regulatory agencies;
- Surface and subsurface landowners;
- Scientists; and