Protecting Air and Water


How are air and water protected?

Government Requirements

Oil & gas operations are regulated under 8 federal environmental laws and numerous state laws and local ordinances. For example, the EPA develops and implements regulations under the Clean Air Act to govern emissions from hydraulic fracturing pumps and engines.

Industry Standards

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the world’s leading standard-developing organization for oil and gas. API has outlined more than 100 best practices for hydraulic fracturing. API’s process is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – the same institute that accredits U.S. national laboratories for science and technology.

Transparent Reporting

Hundreds of companies have registered tens of thousands of oil and natural gas wells on a website called This is where you can see the content of the fluids that fractured these wells. The service is managed by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. WPX was one of the first companies to register wells.

Geology and Physics

Normally, 4,000-8,000 feet (up to 1.5 miles) of solid impermeable rock separate shallow fresh water zones that are relatively close to the surface from the deeper depths where fracking happens – sometimes miles down into the earth.

Monitoring and Sampling

It’s possible to see what’s happening underground. Tracking technology called micro seismic analysis shows where fractures went and how much they opened the rock layer where oil and gas are trapped. Where permissible, WPX also takes groundwater samples in the area around a well for analysis before drilling and after fracking.

Scientific and Safety Expertise

WPX employs environmental, health and safety specialists. Many have backgrounds in biology, industrial safety, engineering, geology and public administration. One of our environmental managers has a Master of Science in Environmental Science and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering. His staff has 100 years of combined experience in air quality, environmental permitting and compliance.

Download our fact sheets about hydraulic fracturing: learn more about air and water here, and about frack fluid here.