Chief Oil & Gas Moves All Operations to Closed Loop Drilling
Chief Oil & Gas recently moved all of its operations to a closed loop drilling process, eliminating the storage of discarded drilling fluid in open reserve pits at the drilling site. This initiative is just one example of the continuing efforts by Chief to implement best industry practices in its development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
In addition to using a closed loop drilling system, Chief has implemented a number of best practices in its drilling operations including:
Full Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Additives
Chief was one of the first companies to voluntarily make the fluids and additives used in the completion of its natural gas well development and hydraulic fracturing process available to the public. The information can be found on our website at www.chiefog.com/fracturing_fluids.html.
Enhanced Well Construction Design
PADEP has proposed new stringent rules for well construction that is in the final stage of the approval process. Chief implemented the new well construction designs at all new Marcellus wells in 2009, which includes an additional line of protection drilling through water aquifers.
Use Closed Loop Drilling System
Chief has moved all of its operations to a closed loop drilling process eliminating the storage of discarded drilling fluid in open reserve pits at the drilling site. Chief has removed all existing drilling pits at all locations throughout the Marcellus. With the closed loop system, all drilling fluids will be stored in steel tanks.
Flowback Water not Mixed with Fresh Water in Open Impoundments
Chief has never stored frac flowback water in open impoundments and has never added flowback water to fresh water in open impoundments. All flowback water that comes back out of a well after it has undergone hydraulic fracturing is stored in steel tanks.
Protective Liners at Pad Sites
Chief lines all surfaces around its drilling and hydraulic fracture operations with 30 to 60 millimeter plastic liners to contain spills and prevent fluids from coming in contact with the environment. Any spills are immediately vacuumed off of the containment and disposed safely.
Emergency Response Crews and Equipment On-site
Chief contracts with licensed emergency response providers to have response crews and equipment on-site during all drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, to further facilitate the containment and removal of any accidental spills.
Recycling Flowback Water
Chief recycles a large portion of flowback water produced in the hydraulic fracturing process. All flowback is stored in steel tanks before recycling. Flowback is then transported from one pad site to another by contracted licensed water haulers for the next hydraulic fracturing operation, where it is filtered, and then blended with fresh water at a low ratio, for re-use. This practice greatly reduces the amount of wastewater that is treated and discharged to municipal sewage treatment plants or commercial treatment/discharge facilities, and also reduces the amount of fresh water needed to conduct hydraulic-fracturing operations.
Enclosed Compressor Stations
To minimize noise, Chief has enclosed and insulated all of its compressor stations in multiple counties.
Site Safety Initiatives
All Chief sites are staffed with security guards 24 hours a day and are regularly site inspected by third party circuit riders to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations.
Chief believes in open and honest communication. Transparency and community involvement are key values at Chief. Chief is proud to showcase its operations and has hosted more than 200 public tours of its drilling sites, compressor stations, water impoundments, water withdrawal sites and road restoration projects for members of the communities, including local residents, business groups, the media and state and local legislators.