News Release 2010-11-25


News Release 2010-11-25

News Release 2010-11-25 (NR2010-17)

VIEW PDF (43.27 KB)

ERCB invites feedback on changes to well spacing framework

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Nov 25, 2010)… As part of the Energy Resources Conservation Board’s commitment to streamlining and improving its regulatory requirements, it is seeking stakeholder feedback on proposed changes to its well-spacing framework for conventional and unconventional oil and gas reservoirs.

The proposed changes reflect the ERCB’s ongoing work to create a more relevant and effective approach to the regulation of Alberta’s energy resources.

The ERCB proposes the following four changes to its well-spacing framework:

  • Remove subsurface well-density controls for coalbed methane and shale gas province-wide, and for certain gas zones in southeastern Alberta. 
  • Increase baseline well densities from one well to two wells per pool per standard drilling spacing units province-wide for conventional gas reservoirs.
  • Streamline additional well-spacing requirements.
  • Standardize province-wide target areas for drilling spacing units.

The proposed changes ensure that development continues to occur in a manner that conserves and protects the resource for all Albertans.

Well spacing relates to subsurface reservoir development. Today’s horizontal drilling technology means that operators often do not need a well directly above the target reservoir.

Existing well spacing regulations were implemented in the early stages of Alberta’s oil and gas industry to ensure efficient and orderly development of Alberta’s energy resources.

The proposed changes to well spacing requirements complement the Government of Alberta’s Energizing Investment: A Framework to Improve Alberta’s Natural Gas and Conventional Oil Competitiveness released in March. The Framework aims to ensure Alberta provides a leading competitive environment for oil and gas investment in Alberta.

A key outcome of the Framework was the establishment of the Regulatory Enhancement Project which is examining ways to improve Alberta’s regulatory systems. The ERCB has been a full participant in this project since it began earlier this year.

Details on the proposed well spacing changes are available in Bulletin 2010-39, which can be found on the ERCB’s Web site.

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Darin Barter, ERCB Communications
Phone: 403-681-0946
Media line: 1-855-474-6356