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Current Issues in Hydraulic Fracturing

OnDemand Webinar (88 minutes)

With the United States having an estimated 100 year's worth of undeveloped gas reserves, the exploration for and the extraction of natural gas from shale formations throughout the United States have taken the forefront in the oil and gas industry, but not without some controversy. There is great controversy and concern over the methods and chemicals used to extract gas from shale formations, especially the use of hydraulic fracturing. Environmental and safety concerns about water usage, what chemicals are used in the fracking process, and what to do with the "flowback" fluids after the fracking process are among the many issues being hotly debated by oil and gas operators, government agencies, and state and federal legislatures. Pending litigation filed by landowners, environmental groups, government agencies, and industry associations; recent laws and regulations imposing additional oversight, disclosure of chemicals, and operational requirements on oil and gas producers; and the numerous, recent fracking studies made by universities, industry producers, and state and federal agencies all impact the exploration and extraction of natural gas from U.S. shale plays. This OnDemand Webinar will explain the hydraulic fracturing process, how hydraulic fracturing affects you, and what you need to know to effectively advocate for your clients. This program is for legal professionals and operators, drillers, and vendors in the oil and gas industry who are interested in the most up-to-date information on the hydraulic fracturing controversy.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to discuss the importance of shale natural gas to the economy.
  • You will be able to identify regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
  • You will be able to review litigation Involving hydraulic fracturing.
  • You will be able to explain disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids.


Barclay R. Nicholson, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.



• Importance of Shale Natural Gas to the Economy

• Shale Plays in the U.S.

• What Is Hydraulic Fracturing?

Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

• Government Departments

- Department of Energy - Shale Gas Production Subcommittee Studies

- Department of Interior - Bureau of Land Management's Proposed Rules for Shale Gas Production and Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands

- Department of Commerce - Effects of Shale Gas Production on Endangered Species

• Environmental Protection Agency

- Studies Concerning the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

- Air Emissions Standards for Hydraulic Fracturing

- Permitting Guidance for Using Diesel Fuel in Hydraulic Fracturing

• Congress - The FRAC Act

• State Versus Local Regulation

Studies and Research

• Pennsylvania State University's Water Studies

• Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Studies Concerning Air Emissions and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials

• The University of Texas' Study of Groundwater Contamination and Hydraulic Fracturing

• Duke University's Water Studies

• Studies Concerning the Relationship Between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing

Litigation Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

• Overview of Lawsuits, Plaintiffs and Causes of Action

• Lawsuits Filed by Landowners and Others Living in Proximity to Hydraulic Fracturing Activities - Discussion of Cases Filed in Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, and Other Locations

• Lawsuits Filed by States, Industry Associations, and Environmental Groups

Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids - State Regulations