Critics of drilling say widespread use of trade-secret exemptions undermines assurances by the industry that drillers are being open and honest with the communities where wells are fracked, Mike Soraghan of Energy and Environment News reports. Companies say they spend millions developing new fracking materials and don't want to give away their secret. Industry groups say the debate over trade secrets overshadows just how much companies have already disclosed.
Utah has the highest rate of trade-secret claims on disclosure statements at 94 percent, the highest of any state with more than 100 disclosures. Disclosure isn't mandatory in Utah, but in New Mexico, where it is, 84 percent of statements sent to FracFocus -- where PIVOT gets its information -- had a trade-secret claim.
All of BP America Production Co.'s 230 disclosures contained a trade-secret claim. BP and a small Texas company, Howell Oil & Gas, were the only companies with more than 100 wells that filed trade-secret claims on all of them. The rest of the top five companies are Exco Resources Inc., at 98 percent; Devon Energy Corp. and Noble Energy Inc., both at 97 percent. (Read more)