Bob Willard - Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

rdrwa.ca

Bob Willard - Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

Hydraulic Fracturing, a Regulatory Perspective

Presentation to Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

Bob Willard ERCB October 25, 2012


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”


The ERCB

Across Alberta

9 Field Centres

Head Office (Calgary)

Core Research Centre

(Calgary)

Alberta Geological Survey

(Edmonton)

Fort McMurray Oil Sands

Regional Office


Drivers - What’s

Changing?

Rapid change in nature of resource development

Depleting conventional oil & gas

-New technology; improved economics

-Emergence of unconventional resources

-New risks and opportunities

Changing stakeholder expectations

-Industry: improved regulations relevant

to new realities

-GOA: maintain competitive environment while

ensuring public safety and environment and

water protection

-Public: increased landowner/ community

environmental concern, expectations of open,

transparent and accessible data, and desire to

participate


Alberta Experience

Historical context

-171,000 wells fractured in Alberta since 1950s

-Drilling horizontal wells since mid 1980s

-Since 2008, over 5000 horizontal wells with

multistage fracturing

Wide Spread Use of New Technology

-Over over half of new oil and gas wells are

horizontal

-Targeting a wide range of geological targets

(Cardium, Viking, Duvernay, Montney, Exshaw,

Glauconitic, Mannville, Ellerslie, Beaverhill Lake)

Wide Range of Completion-Stimulation

Techniques

-Fracturing technique and water use dependent of

rock properties and other factors


Horizontal Well

Multistage

Fracturing Activity

June 2012


Horizontal Well with

Multistage Fracturing

By Formation


Unconventional

Oil & Gas

Development

Challenges

Water management

and protection

Containment; Hydraulic

Fracturing Operations

Development planning and

cumulative effects

Communication


Surface Impacts

•Horizontal wells of 1000m to

2000m located on multi well

pads offer significant options

to reduce surface impacts

compared to vertical wells

including reduced roads and

pipelines

•Concentrated industrial

impacts require greater care

in selecting pad site locations

and engagement of additional

landowners

•Multiple pads need surface

infrastructure planning

•Some existing single well

sites not suitable for pads;

reengage


ERCB

Regulations

Examples:

-Directive 8: Surface Casing Depth Requirements

-Directive 9: Casing Cementing Requirements

-Directive 20: Well Abandonment

-Directive 27: Shallow fracturing Operations

- Restricted Operations

-Directive 29: Energy and Utility Development

Applications and the Hearing Process

-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


Responding to

Change

Expanding Information

Base with public access

Updating Requirements

NEW Play Based Planning

Approach

Supporting Best Practices

and Stakeholder Engagement


Baseline Information

•Application disclosure and public access

(2003)

•Water use measurement and sourcing for all

wells fractured in Alberta

•Fracture fluid chemical disclosure

•Public access thru fracfocus.ca; year end 2012

•Mapping :

• Unconventional resource mapping

• Non-saline/saline groundwater mapping

•Increase reporting on technology, activity,

incidents, performance trends for land

disturbance, water use and flaring,

•Increase capacity to monitor and report on

potential for induced seismicity


Updating

Requirements

D55 Storage; update safety and environment

protection standards for new large volume

surface containment

•D27; updating fracturing controls for deeper

operations:

•Shallow fracturing controls set 2006

•Bulletin 2012-02 inter wellbore communication

•Plan fracture programs, communicate with offset

operators, report all incidents

•NEW proposed:

• increase wellbore integrity

•Mandatory notification to ERCB of fracturing

commencement

•Expanded risk review and mitigation plans for

potential offset well communication


UNCONVENTIONAL

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK


New Regulatory

Framework (URF)

•Starts with existing

regulations and processes

•Regulatory response

proportional to risk

•Expand regulatory focus

from proximity impacts to

more cumulative, playbased

impacts

•Support innovation and

science

•Increased early planning

•Increased collaboration

amongst companies

•Expand information available

for landowners Counties,

WPACs and others

•Enhanced community

engagement


How it works

NEW: Pad Approvals

- Local planning with additional

landowners to address location,

water use, noise, lights, traffic

Consolidates approvals

NEW: Project Plan Submission

- Operator specific; address 4 key

areas with expanded community

engagement

NEW: Play Development Plan

- Organize risk by play

- All operators collectively; address

4 areas seeking large scale

management solutions


What should the

Plans Address?

Water management

-Play or project level

Surface infrastructure

development

-Footprint, linear disturbances,

trucking noise

Sub-surface reservoir

management

-Resource recovery, minimize

flaring, ER potential, reserves

assessment

Stakeholder engagement

Lifecycle wellbore Integrity

Fit with overarching land use

and watershed plans


Best Practice Examples

Organizations : CAPP, SPOG, PTAC and others

addressing plans to complement regulations

Industry Recommended Practices (IRP)

Many companies responding to community and

regulators:

• reviewing local risk factors and local input and

exceeding ERCB minimum regulated distances

•Engaging parties along a truck route

•Sharing plans with communities and local

authorities, responding to questions and adjusting

plans

•Increase company to company coordination of

operations, sourcing of water


Stakeholder

Engagement

Communicate Albertabased

facts

Access information

through the ERCB

Web site: information,

rules, requirements

and performance

www.ercb.ca

Outreach through

information meetings,

synergy groups, and

operator groups.

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