U.S. SEC says its probe into ExCo Resources, Quicksilver Resources involves determining their natural-gas output, not overseeing hydraulic fracturing operations, despite report that oil, gas drillers were asked for list of fracking chemicals used

LOS ANGELES , September 16, 2011 () – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denies that it is trying to regulate companies drilling for natural gas, despite a report to the contrary, reported Reuters on Sept. 15.

In its investigation of ExCo Resources Inc. and Quicksilver Resources Inc. last month, the SEC said it was trying to make sure that the companies were not misleading investors.

The SEC asked the companies for information about the output of their natural-gas wells and is “not regulating fracking in any way,” SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro told the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Bill Posey, a Republican from Florida, is one of the lawmakers that have accused the SEC of wandering into the area of environmental oversight from their traditional role of securities abuse.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that the SEC also asked oil and gas drillers for details on chemicals they were using in their fracking process. The agency might require that the companies publically reveal some of the information.

The SEC’s Corporation Finance division, which has been involved in the reserves issue and reviews public disclosures, “has asked questions in their comment letters,” said Shapiro, reported Reuters.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on Sept. 15, 2011.

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