Fracking at Los Angeles site found safe in industry-funded study
BY JIM EFSTATHIOU JR. Bloomberg News
Thursday, October 11, 2012
10/11/12 at 3:31 AM
Fracking for oil in Los Angeles poses no threat to the environment, according to a study funded by the owner of one of the largest urban oil fields in the U.S.
The findings Wednesday come from a yearlong study by Plains Exploration & Production Co., owner of the Inglewood oil field in the Baldwin Hills section of Los Angeles. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of two test wells revealed no threat to groundwater, air quality or added risk of induced seismic activity, according to the report.
The report comes weeks before the California Department of Conservation is set to release draft rules for fracking, in which millions of gallons of chemically treated water and sand are forced underground to shatter rock and release trapped oil or natural gas. California has generic rules for oil and gas drilling but no specific rules for fracking, a technique that has been linked to water contamination and air pollution in other states.
"It sounds like the report has found that based on the tests, it doesn't seem like there were impacts from fracking that we should be worried about," Damon Nagami, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview. "It is attracting a lot of attention."
Fracking is being used widely from North Dakota to Pennsylvania and is credited with boosting U.S. production of oil and gas. California regulators have asked drillers to voluntarily disclose when fracking is used to complete oil or gas wells, according to Don Drysdale, a spokesman for the Department of Conservation.
The state senate in May defeated a bill that would have required drillers to notify neighbors in advance of fracking. Separate measures to place a moratorium on fracking and to require that drillers disclose chemicals used in the process died in committee.
"We don't have a good handle on it," Drysdale said in an interview.
Houston-based Plains hired the consulting firm Cardno ENTRIX to undertake the study as part of a settlement with Culver City and environmental and community groups. The 1,000- acre Inglewood field is surrounded by Culver City, Baldwin Hills and Inglewood, making it among the largest urban oil field in the U.S.
The field holds an estimated 400 million barrels of oil, according to today's report.
Original Print Headline: Study: Fracking in Los Angeles is safe