2016-2017 Corporate Responsibility

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing allows us to develop unconventional oil and gas resources safely and economically and recover hydrocarbon deposits once considered unreachable. We drill thousands of feet below freshwater supplies and then turn horizontally into rock formations to recover oil and gas deposits. We use a base fluid of mostly water mixed with sand and small quantities of chemical additives injected at high pressure to create cracks that form narrow pathways within targeted rock formations. The grains of sand keep the pathways open, releasing oil and natural gas to flow into the wellbore.

We continually test new technologies that reduce our environmental exposure and risk. For example, we use dissolvable plugs, dissolvable ball and sleeve completion systems or hybrid completion systems during hydraulic fracturing for intra-stage isolation, reducing the time needed to drill out or remove the plugs or balls. Using dissolvable technology increases the safety of our employees by reducing the time spent on well clean-outs in high-pressure conditions.

By the end of 2016, 43 percent of our wells were completed using some form of dissolvable technology. In our Utah and North Dakota assets, 100 percent of wells were hydraulically fractured using ball and sleeve dissolvable technology. In Oklahoma, we continually optimize the number and placement of dissolvable plugs based on the downhole environment. In 2016, 29 percent of our Oklahoma wells used dissolvable plug technology.

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Chemical Disclosure

The chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing vary depending on geology. We typically use very low concentrations of between three and 12 products (see below). We continue to share our hydraulically-fractured well data on FracFocus.org, a web-based repository for submittal of fluids pumped during hydraulic fracturing.

HydraulicFracturingFluids@2x-100

Fracturing fluids are comprised of approximately 99 percent water and sand and less than one percent chemical additives, many of which are used in common household products.

Acid—used in swimming pools

Anti-bacterial agent—used in disinfectants

Breaker—used in hair color

Clay stabilizer—used in IV fluids

Corrosion inhibitor—used in plastics

Crosslinker—used in laundry detergents

Friction reducer—used in cosmetics

Gelling agent—used in toothpaste

Iron control—used in food additives

pH adjusting agent—used in water softeners

Scale inhibitor—used in household cleaners

Surfactant—used in deodorant

Source: Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC)
 
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We do not publish a practice that states our use of dry chemicals versus liquid chemicals during the hydraulic fracturing process. Since the safety of our employees and contractors is of vital concern, we select the physical state of chemicals based on a total risk factor. We primarily use liquid chemicals instead of dry to minimize onsite mixing and handling.

Note: The information reported by our company may exclude proprietary information from our service providers that we are not licensed to disclose. In an effort to reduce CBI claims, we require all of our service providers to disclose a CAS number or name the individual in their organization that claims trade secret protection in accordance with FracFocus 3.0 requirements.

FracFocus Reporting

At the end of 2016, we were one of approximately 1,100 reporting companies, out of about 1,400 approved operators, participating in FracFocus. These reporting companies have disclosed information on more than 123,000 oil and gas wells since 2011. FracFocus has become the disclosure method for about 75 percent of the producing states.

Newfield was an early supporter of the FracFocus disclosure process and voluntarily submitted data on hundreds of wells before required by regulation. Since our initial participation in April 2012, we have released data on more than 1,700 total wells. In 2016, we ranked in the top two percent of operators based on our annual disclosure of completed wells.


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Page last updated on November 27, 2017