You are on page 1of 11

The Energy Resources Conservation Board

Theresa Watson, Board Member March 2013

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB)


A quasi-judicial, arms-length body created by the Alberta Government to ensure that the discovery, development and delivery of Alberta's energy resources take place in a manner that is fair, responsible, and in the public interest

Multistage Hydraulic Fracturing Wells in Alberta

Blue: all wells drilled in Alberta since 1955 Light orange: all wells fractured Dark orange: all horizontal wells stimulated by multistage hydraulic fracturing

ERCB Requirements
- Draft Directive: Hydraulic Fracturing - Directive 8: Surface Casing Depth Requirements

- Directive 9: Casing Cementing Requirements


- Directive 20: Well Abandonment - Directive 27: Shallow fracturing OperationsRestricted Operations - Directive 29: Energy and Utility Development Applications and the Hearing Process - Directive 31: Guidelines for the Energy Proceeding Cost Claims - Directive 35: Baseline Water Well Testing - Directive 38: Noise Control - Directive 44: Surveillance of Water Production

in Hydrocarbon Wells
- Directive 50: Drilling Waste Management - Directive 51: Injection and Disposal Wells - Directive 55: Storage Requirements - Directive 56: Energy Development Applications - Directive 58: Oilfield Waste Management Requirements for the Upstream Petroleum Industry - Directive 59: Well Drilling & Completion Data Filing Requirements

Visit www.ercb.ca

Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing: Directive 027


Focus on shallow fracturing Fracturing prohibited within depth of 50m when sited within 200m radius of water wells Only non-toxic fracture fluids may be used above the base of groundwater protection Designed to prevent contamination of non-saline water zones

Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing: Draft Directive


Focus on deeper fracturing

Preserving well integrity/control


Reduce risks of interwellbore communication Prevent impacts to water and surface

Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing: Assessing Risk


Risk assessment/review of hydraulic fracturing issues: Potential crossflow of fluids Wellbore design Chemicals used Fluids and waste management

Flaring and venting

Seismic Monitoring
Alberta Seismic activity monitored for over 30 years by NRCan AGS studies potential links between seismicity and energy development More than 20 seismometers across Alberta AGS partners with Canadian, U.S. organizations to monitor seismic activity in Alberta

Public Concerns
Common concerns include: Truck traffic/road impacts Noise Duration of wellsite activity Dust Flaring and emissions Wellsite lighting These concerns relate to the intensity of this new kind of development While groundwater contamination is a concern often raised in media coverage, it is not a primary concern of the parties engaged in the ERCB hearing process for horizontal multistage fracturing

ERCB Unconventional Regulatory Framework (URF)


Effective and efficient regulatory framework for unconventional oil and gas that mitigates risk to conservation, public safety and the environment, and ensures orderly development while using the least intrusive regulatory tool to mitigate risks.