Most of our drilling and production activities take place on privately owned land. We adhere to all local, state and federal regulations and work closely with local landowners to address any concerns. Every site goes through a rigorous assessment that includes an evaluation of wildlife habitats, impact on groundwater, soil, rivers and streams, flora and fauna and archaeological sites. The use of horizontal drilling technologies allows us to drill multiple wells on one pad site. This also reduces our footprint and allows us to drill on sites that best satisfy multiple concerns, including noise abatement. We build and maintain access roads to elminate soil erosion and minimize truck traffic. And we take every measure to ensure the safety of our employees, landowners, local residents and the communities where we operate.
The use of new technologies including hydraulic fracturing has drawn considerable attention. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the final components of the overall drilling procedure and is used far below ground surface (often more than a mile) to allow the recovery of oil and gas. It is often confused with the entire drilling practice, but it is just one part of the production process. it allows wells to produce what would otherwise be uneconomical, maximizing our domestic resources. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of the wells currently operating today have been hydraulically fractured. Without this critical technique, thousands of wells across the country would be closed, reducing our domestic production and negatively impacting local economies.
Some are concerned that hydraulic fracturing may create pathways to underground sources of drinking water (aquifers) and release hydraulic fracturing fluids into those aquifers. The oil and gas industry and the agencies that regulate all of us are committed to protecting the groundwater. Individual, community and environmental health and safety are our top priority. There is a robust regulatory framework in place to prevent any adverse environmental effects. In addition, Laredo Energy takes every precaution in our pre-drilling well design and throughout our operations to prevent any release into aquifers.
Some are concerned about the contents of fracturing fluids, which are primarily composed of 99.5 percent sand and water. The remaining chemicals are found in common household products such as laundry detergents, cleaners and beauty products. Others are found in products like the chlorine in a backyard swimming pool and even in food and beverage items. Please refer to the chart below.
You can find a primer on hydraulic fracturing here.