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.

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FAQs
  • How is an ingredient reported that is the subject of a claim exemption through the Hazardous Material Information Review Act?

    For any ingredient that is subject to a claim for exemption through Hazardous Material Information Review Act, the registry number must be provided in the Comments.  Furthermore, the generic name of the ingredient must also be provided, where possible.  Otherwise, the ingredient may be listed as ‘Undisclosed’.  If the subject of the claim is solely for the chemical identity of one or more ingredients, then the CAS number(s) is/are left blank for each ingredient subject to a claim, but the maximum concentration within the additive is provided, along with the maximum concentration within the fracture fluid for each ingredient.  If the subject of the claim is to protect both the chemical identity and the concentration of one or more ingredients, then the CAS number(s) is/are left blank along with the concentration(s) within the additive for each ingredient subject to a claim.  If possible, concentration of the ingredient within the fracture fluid can also be provided, but may also be left blank.

  • 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.

     

  • 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.     

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National Energy Board to Join Fracfocus.ca

Calgary, Alberta (November 27, 2013) - The National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) will soon request companies regulated under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) to publicly disclose information on the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing operations.

Today the NEB signed an agreement with the BC Oil and Gas Commission, and the US-based Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to participate in the Fracfocus.ca website.