What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracing”, is the process of creating small cracks, or fractures, in deeply buried geological formations to allow natural gas to flow into the wellbore. The natural gas can then flow to the surface under controlled conditions through the wellhead and be collected for processing and distribution.
During the hydraulic fracturing process, a mixture of water, sand and other chemical additives designed to protect the integrity of the wellbore and enhance production is pumped under high pressure into the formation to create fractures. The fractures are kept open by sand or “proppant”, which provides pathways to allow the natural gas to flow into the wellbore.
I know there are wells in my area that have been fractured, but when I search for them I get no results. Why?
The most likely reasons are that either the wells were fractured before January 1, 2012 (British Columbia) or January 1, 2013 (Alberta) or they have not yet been entered into the system. Only wells fractured after those dates will be entered into the system. Furthermore, companies undertaking hydraulic fracturing operations have 30 days from the time their completion operations have finished to submit their records. Initially, records for Alberta wells may take longer than the 30 days noted as licensees develop systems to compile and report the information electronically. Please keep checking back as wells are added on a daily basis
What constitutes a trade secret?
An ingredient or formulation of ingredients that represent a unique or competitive advantage to owner of the intellectual property associated with the ingredient, formulation or use. Various mechanisms are available to protect confidential business information. For hazardous materials, companies wishing to protect their intellectual property may apply to the Hazardous Material Information Review Commission for a claim exemption under the Hazardous Material Information Review Act to deem the ingredient or formulation a trade secret. For non hazardous materials this decision remains with the creator of the ingredient or formulation. Creators may also apply for patents; however many consider this mechanism to not be a practical mechanism to protect confidential business information as disclosure of the ingredient or formulation is necessary. While it may be in the public interest to offer some protection of trade secrets, a basic level of information is captured in all cases and additional information can be required if necessary to support an incident investigation.
Welcome to the Hydraulic Fracturing and Fracture Fluid Information Site. This website is a project of the BC Oil & Gas Commission and is intended to provide objective information on Hydraulic Fracturing. Fracturing Fluids, Groundwater and Surface water protection and related oil and gas activities in Canada.
This technique uses a specially blended liquid which is pumped into a well under extreme pressure causing cracks in rock formations underground. These cracks in the rock then allow oil and natural gas to flow, increasing resource production.
Casing is the multiple layers of steel and cement inside the drilled hole used to protect water aquifers. The specific length, thickness, strength and composition of casing is regulated at the state level.
Groundwater Protection: Priority Number One
Oil and natural gas producers have stringent requirements for how wells must be completed. The genesis of these requirements is water safety.
Casing is the first line of defense used to protect freshwater aquifers.More About Groundwater Protection »