2017-2018 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. A base fluid, containing mostly water mixed with sand and small quantities of chemical additives, is 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. In our Utah and North Dakota assets, nearly 100 percent of wells were hydraulically fractured using ball and sleeve dissolvable technology. In Oklahoma, we continue to use a variety of safe intervention techniques during well completion that reduce drill out times. Additionally, we have begun to use regionally-sourced sand from Oklahoma to complete our wells, supporting local vendors and minimizing the need to transport material from out-of-state and over long distances.


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.


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. In some cases, chemicals used during our completions may represent only one-tenth of a percent of the fluid composition.

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)

We do not publish data on 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 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 2017, we were one of approximately 1,300 reporting companies participating in FracFocus. These companies have disclosed information on more than 136,000 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 1,900 total wells. In 2017, 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 July 25, 2018