U.S. govt, Halliburton reach deal on fracking info

Tue Dec 7, 2010 6:18pm EST

 * 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)