"Best Practices" Guidance Released for Marcellus Shale Operators

This post was written by Jennifer Smokelin

In order to reduce liability for natural gas development, it is a given that companies "know the rules and make sure you comply with them." A corollary to this maxim is that companies understand the industry's "best practices" and strive to follow them. For hydraulic fracturing, the American Petroleum Institute had issued industry guidance/best practices on hydraulic fracturing and, a few days ago, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) released its first recommended practices (RP) that offers guidance on site planning, development and restoration. The RP will assist industry professionals operating in the Appalachian basin in improving their effectiveness in the site planning, development and restoration aspects of responsible natural gas exploration and production. The RP was developed by the MSC’s Land Affairs Committee and it set forth 11 steps in the site preparation, development and restoration process for natural gas development, beginning with identifying the need for a new well site, compressor station or pipeline, and ending with site monitoring, maintenance and repair. The guidance document is the first of many that MSC is expected to release in the coming months, and the additional guidance is expected to cover topics from well construction to air quality and water management.

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