Protecting People and the Environment
Chevron is committed to responsible development. Keeping people safe and protecting the environment are core values. Wherever we operate, we work closely with local governments, respect our neighbors and invest in the community.
Protecting land, water and communities is our highest priority. We share the public's expectation that the energy we need will be produced safely and reliably. We know that permission to operate depends on our ability to do business responsibly.
Chevron takes steps to protect groundwater during hydraulic fracturing and over the life of the well. For example, our wells in Pennsylvania have a combination of up to eight layers of steel casing and cement, which forms a continuous barrier between the well and the surrounding formations. We run pressure tests to ensure the well's integrity. We also conduct a combination of tests over the life of the well to verify long-term integrity. Our wells are designed to protect groundwater for the life of the well.
Because fracturing is done thousands of feet beneath the groundwater aquifer, the potential for cracks to leak gas or fracturing fluids into groundwater is extremely low. For example, micro-seismic surveys of shale gas wells in the eastern United States show that fractures are separated from groundwater by more than a mile of rock—a distance as deep as the Grand Canyon.
Managing Water Use
Chevron is committed to safely and responsibly managing fracturing fluids, wastewater and produced water. After the hydraulic fracturing process is complete and the well begins to produce natural gas, a portion of the water used during the fracturing process also flows back to the surface. In our Marcellus operations, this water is stored temporarily in lined pits or steel tanks until it is either reused in future fracturing jobs or injected into disposal wells permitted and regulated for that purpose. Well sites are designed to protect the land surface, and we take care to restore the land to its original contours after drilling.
In Northeast U.S., Chevron is working to capture and reuse 100 percent of the fracturing fluids and water produced with the natural gas. This reduces our freshwater consumption as well as our need for water trucking, transfer and disposal. We also use water pipelines to lessen the need for tanker trucks often used for water transport.
Preserving Air Quality
Chevron is committed to protecting air quality by reducing emissions from all of our natural gas operations, including shale gas. We design, construct and operate our wells to reduce emissions; we verify integrity of wells and production equipment, and we participate in voluntary programs to minimize our emissions.
Chevron and the industry have worked for years with governments and other stakeholders to develop programs that encourage industry to reduce natural gas leaks and improve operational efficiencies.
Improving Access to Information
Chevron supports giving the public access to information related to chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Water and sand constitute more than 99 percent of fracturing fluid. The remaining 1 percent consists of a small number of chemicals added to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of fracturing. Many of these substances also can be found in food and beverages. Atlas Energy, which Chevron acquired in 2011, had reduced the number of components requiring Material Safety Data Sheets, used to characterize hazardous materials, in the fracturing fluids by 77 percent, from 31 to 7.
For more information on chemical disclosure, visit FracFocus.org. This online registry of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing is a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
Public confidence in our operations is essential to our success. Transparency and engagement are the key components to maintaining and strengthening that confidence. In all our operations, we seek to engage with the communities where we live and operate. By doing so, we can maximize the contribution we make, learn about local concerns, share information and minimize the possible negative impacts of our activities.
While Chevron works diligently every day to prevent incidents, we also prepare for the unexpected, we work to minimize impacts by responding quickly and effectively to any situation. We develop emergency action plans and maintain our response capabilities by training our people and conducting frequent drills. We also partner with local and regional emergency response agencies to ensure good communication, coordination and preparedness.
Updated: May 2012