WILLISTON - Guidelines published this week by the Environmental Protection Agency require oil companies to get an additional permit to use diesel and kerosene in hydraulic fracturing.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources is working to get the word out to companies operating in the state, but the industry had already begun moving away from using those chemicals, Director Lynn Helms said Friday.

The new guidelines say companies need to obtain an Underground Injection Control, Class II, permit from the North Dakota Industrial Commission to use diesel or kerosene in fracking. That extra permit adds at least 76 days to the process, Helms said.

State officials checked FracFocus, the website where companies report the chemicals used in fracking, and determined that since April 2012, no company used diesel in North Dakota and just one company had used kerosene, Helms said.

The operator, Oasis Petroleum, used kerosene in 15 oil wells in concentrations of less than four-thousandths of 1 percent, Helms said. In talking with the company this week, Helms said the use of kerosene had already been discontinued.

Helms said he was disappointed the EPA did not allow for a minimal amount of diesel or kerosene, but said the overall guidelines should not have much impact on North Dakota.

Monte Besler, owner of FRACN8R Consulting in Williston, said major companies began developing alternatives to using diesel in hydraulic fracturing three or four years ago.

Amy Dalrymple

Newsletter signup for email alerts