CAPP outlines fracing operating practices for shale, tight gas

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on Jan. 30 announced a set of hydraulic fracturing operating practices that it has adopted to improve water management and water and fluids reporting for shale gas and tight gas development across Canada.

CAPP Pres. Dave Collyer said the new operating practices will help improve industry’s environmental performance and transparency while ensuring responsible water management.

Developed by gas producers, the fracing practices apply to all CAPP members exploring for and producing 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, frac fluid disclosure, and technical advancement and collaboration.

The operating practices support the guiding principles for fracing and strengthen industry’s efforts to continuously improve performance. CAPP expects the fracing operating practices will complement regulatory requirements.

Fracing operating practices

CAPP outlined the following operating practices for fracing:

• Frac fluid additive disclosure on a well-by-well basis to identify the chemical ingredients in frac fluid additives that are listed on material safety data sheets, including trade names, general purpose, and concentrations. This information will be made publicly available.

• Frac fluid risk assessment and management to better identify and manage potential health and environmental risks associated with frac fluid in an effort to increase market demand for the most environmentally sound frac fluids. The process for developing well-specific risk management plans for frac fluid additives will be made publicly available.

• Baseline groundwater testing to develop domestic water well sampling programs and to participate in regional groundwater monitoring programs. This involves establishing a process for addressing stakeholder concerns regarding water well performance and to collaborate with government and other industry operators.

• Wellbore construction and quality assurance measures to ensure proper wellbore design and installation. This includes 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.

• Water sourcing, measurement, and reuse 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.

• Fluid transport, handling, storage, and disposal to identify, evaluate, and mitigate potential risks related to the transport, handling, storage and disposal of frac fluids, produced water, flowback water and frac fluid wastes. This measure also calls for a quick response to accidental spills. Fluid transport, handling, storage, and disposal practices will be made publicly available.

CAPP represents companies exploring for, developing, and producing oil and gas throughout Canada.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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