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U.S. govt, Halliburton reach deal on fracking info
* Halliburton to turn over fracking info by end of January
* EPA had subpoenaed Halliburton for the data
By Ayesha Rascoe
WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Halliburton (HAL.N) has reached an agreement with the U.S. government to comply with an order to turn over details about the chemicals the company uses in a controversial technique to drill for natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency subpoenaed Halliburton last month, saying the company had not fully complied with demands for information about the composition of chemicals used in its hydraulic fracturing products. [ID:nN15268041]
Under this new deal, Halliburton will provide the agency with the requested data on a rolling basis through the end of January 2011, the EPA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The agency asked for details on hydraulic fracturing chemicals from nine oil services companies, including Halliburton, in September to help the EPA complete its comprehensive study of the practice. [ID:nN09199330]
All of the companies, except Halliburton, cooperated with the order, the agency said when it issued its subpoena.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock formations to stimulate oil and natural gas production.
Innovations in the process have allowed drillers to tap vast reserves of shale gas, but the expansion of fracking use has prompted concerns about possible water contamination.
Oil companies say fracking is safe and carried out far below most groundwater sources.
Halliburton continues to meet and correspond with EPA personnel and will work diligently to provide the necessary documents by the end of January, a company spokeswoman said in a statement.
At the time the subpoena was announced Halliburton said it had turned over some documents, but that the EPA's "unreasonable demands" could require it to prepare about 50,000 spreadsheets.
The EPA said its subpoena remained in place and could be enforced if the terms of the agreement were violated. (Editing by Dale Hudson)
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