Industry establishes Canada-wide operating practices for shale, tight natural gas hydraulic fracturing

CALGARY, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers today announced new Canada-wide hydraulic fracturing operating practices designed to improve water management and water and fluids reporting for shale gas and tight gas development across Canada.

"The hydraulic fracturing operating practices demonstrate the Canadian natural gas industry's continued efforts to ensure responsible resource development and protection of Canada's water resources," said CAPP President Dave Collyer. "Applying these new operating practices will contribute to improving our environmental performance and transparency over time, both of which contribute to stronger understanding of industry activity and better relationships with the public, stakeholders and government."

Developed by natural gas producers, the hydraulic fracturing operating practices apply to all CAPP members exploring for and producing natural gas in Canada.

In September 2011, CAPP announced the industry's Guiding Principles for Hydraulic Fracturing, which obligate CAPP members to sound wellbore construction, fresh water alternatives, recycling where feasible, voluntary water reporting, fracturing fluid disclosure, and technical advancement and collaboration. The operating practices announced today support the guiding principles for hydraulic fracturing and strengthen industry's focus on continuous performance improvement.

Natural gas from unconventional formations is abundant and found across Canada. CAPP expects the hydraulic fracturing operating practices to inform and complement regulatory requirements.

CAPP Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practices

Canada's shale and tight gas industry supports a responsible approach to water management and is committed to continuous performance improvement. Protecting our water resources during sourcing, use and handling is a key priority for our industry. We support and abide by all regulations governing hydraulic fracturing operations, water use and protection.

In addition, we commit to following these operating practices for hydraulic fracturing:

  1. Fracturing Fluid Additive Disclosure
    Purpose: To disclose on a well-by-well basis the chemical ingredients in fracturing fluid additives which are identified on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each additive, including trade names, general purpose and concentrations. This information will be made publicly available.

  2. Fracturing Fluid Risk Assessment and Management
    Purpose: To better identify and manage the potential health and environmental risks associated with fracturing fluid additives and ultimately increase the market demand for more environmentally sound fracturing fluids. The process for developing well-specific risk management plans for hydraulic fracturing fluid additives will be made publicly available.

  3. Baseline Groundwater Testing
    Purpose: To develop domestic water well sampling programs and to participate in regional groundwater monitoring programs; establish a process for addressing stakeholder concerns regarding water well performance; and to continue to collaborate with government and other industry operators.

  4. Wellbore Construction and Quality Assurance
    Purpose: To ensure that wellbores are designed and installed in a manner that maintains integrity before hydraulic fracturing begins, including creating a continuous cement barrier to protect groundwater and developing remedial plans in the unlikely event that a wellbore is compromised. Wellbore construction and quality assurance practices will be made publicly available as they relate to this practice.

  5. Water Sourcing, Measurement and Reuse
    Purpose: To safeguard surface water and groundwater quantity by assessing and measuring water sources, ensuring no withdrawal limits are exceeded, monitoring water sources as required to demonstrate the sustainability of the source; and collecting and reporting water use data. Water measurement, sourcing and reuse practices will be made publicly available.

  6. Fluid Transport, Handling, Storage and Disposal
    Purpose: To identify, evaluate and mitigate potential risks related to the transport, handling, storage and disposal of fluids (i.e. fracturing fluids, produced water, flowback water and fracturing fluid wastes) and ensure a quick response to accidental spills. Fluid transport, handling, storage and disposal practices will be made publicly available.

"The establishment of Canada-wide hydraulic fracturing principles and practices is part of the natural gas industry's ongoing efforts to ensure safe development of Canada's shale gas resources," Collyer said. "Shale gas can and is produced responsibly every day across Canada and the United States with almost 200,000 wells fractured in Western Canada over the last 60 years. With increased focus on fracturing from coast-to-coast, the Canadian industry wants to be at the forefront of transparency and to establish clear and consistent practices across the country."

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce more than 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $100 billion-a-year. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

For further information:

Tony McCallum
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(P): 403-267-1142
(M): 403-836-7654

Organization Profile

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890