News Release 2012-12-20

 

News Release 2012-12-20

News Release 2012-12-20 (NR2012-15)

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ERCB releases investigation report on hydraulic fracturing incident near Grande Prairie

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Dec 20, 2012)… The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has issued its investigation report that includes details of a High-Risk Enforcement Action against Crew Energy Ltd. for a hydraulic fracturing incident that occurred near Grande Prairie on September 21, 2011.

The ERCB investigation concludes that Crew Energy improperly perforated and hydraulically fractured at a shallow depth. In issuing high risk enforcement the ERCB noted the following regulatory non-compliances:

  • Failure to use only non-toxic fracture fluids above the base of groundwater protection; and
  • Failure to recognize and properly assess a number of issues that led to the perforation and fracturing above the base of groundwater protection.

As a result of enforcement action being taken, the ERCB required the company to develop and implement a corrective action plan that details measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. The ERCB is currently auditing the company’s action plan.

Additionally, Crew is required to provide all analysis from its Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development directed groundwater monitoring program to the ERCB.

Incidents of this nature are very rare. More than 171,000 oil and gas wells have been hydraulically fractured in Alberta since the 1950s. In recent years, more than 4,000 multi-stage hydraulic fracturing operations have been conducted in Alberta.

This news release and the investigation report are available on the ERCB Web site at www.ercb.ca.


FOR BROADCAST USE

Alberta’s energy regulator, the ERCB, has released its investigation into a hydraulic fracturing incident that occurred near Grande Prairie in September, 2011. The ERCB also issued high-risk enforcement action against the company. According to the investigation report, the company improperly perforated and hydraulically fractured at a shallow depth. The company is now required to conduct ongoing groundwater monitoring in the area and to develop and implement a plan that details measures to prevent similar incidents.

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For more information, please contact:

Darin Barter, ERCB Communications
Phone: 403-297-4116
E-mail: Darin.Barter@ercb.ca
Media line: 1-855-474-6356

NR2012-15