The Appalachian Shale Recommended Practices Group (ASRPG), a consortium of 11 of the Appalachian Basin’s largest natural gas and oil producers, announced the creation of the Recommended Standards and Practices for Exploration and Production of Natural Gas and Oil from Appalachian Shales.
The ASRPG’s Recommended Standards and Practices for Exploration and Production of Natural Gas and Oil from Appalachian Shales were developed to promote effective safety, environmental and health practices consistent with the key recommendations of both the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s (SEAB) final report issued in November 2011, and the National Petroleum Council’s (NPC) Prudent Development report issued in September 2011.
Both reports acknowledge regional differences in geology, land use, water resources and regulation. Consistent with these findings, the Recommended Standards and Practices for Exploration and Production of Natural Gas and Oil from Appalachian Shales reflect existing primacy of state regulation in the areas it addresses, which encompass each phase of the life cycle of a well.
In conjunction with the Recommended Standards and Practices document, the ASRPG issued the following statement:
As producers in the Appalachian Basin, we strive to be responsible operators that conduct business in a transparent and sustainable manner, and openly communicate with stakeholders. ASRPG’s members are committed to conducting operations in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances, and implementing standards, practices and procedures that meet or exceed regulatory requirements. The continuous evolution of technology used by the oil and natural gas industry has improved economic opportunities in the Appalachian region, energy security and the ability to conduct operations in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. ASRPG’s goal is to encourage operators to implement today’s technologies that enhance safety and environmental performance. We also recognize it is essential for all operators to continuously improve and adopt effective practices as technology evolves.”
The ASRPG’s consensus-based approach to developing the recommended standards and practices for Appalachian Shales provides a roadmap to enhance transparency and regulatory compliance, as well as empowers workers to stop work that is potentially unsafe, emphasizes the importance of optimizing local content and encourages the use of clean-burning natural gas.
The ASRPG plans to submit the recommended standards and practices document to State regulators and legislators in the Appalachian areas of operations, as well as the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), and the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER) to inform state regulatory frameworks and reviews. Additionally, the group plans to disseminate the document to important producer organizations such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the American Petroleum Institute, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, Ohio Oil and Gas Association, and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.
ASRPG’s members are assessing options to periodically review and update the recommendations to reflect improvements in practices and technologies, and to effectively and systematically disseminate the recommendations to producers and stakeholders in the Appalachian region.