Energy Dept. welcomes Baker Hughes's fracking disclosure

The Department of Energy said Friday it is encouraged by oilfield servicer Baker Hughes's decision to disclose all of the chemicals it uses when tracking for oil and natural gas.

Deputy assistant secretary Paula Grant said the department welcomes the company's "decision to move in this directions and hopes others will follow their lead."

Earlier on Friday, Baker Hughes, the third-largest oilfield services provider, announced it would begin disclosing all of the chemicals used in fracking fluids to unlock oil and natural gas underground.

"The department believes the proactive disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids is an important step in building public confidence towards accessing the transformative energy resource that is natural gas," Grant said in a statement released by a department spokesman.

Conservation group Environmental Defense Fund applauded the company as well, specifically its commitment to work with its suppliers to disclose the information as well.

Competitor Halliburton said it is "evaluating" Baker Hughes's new policy and its impact on trade secrets, according to The Washington Post.

Hydraulic fracturing has received increased attention with the natural gas boom in the U.S., and as more communities have expressed concern over the environmental impacts of fracking.