Bulletin 2012-25

Bulletin 2012-25: Amendments to Directive 059: Well Drilling and Completion Data Filing Requirements in Support of Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Information

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Amendments to Directive 059: Well Drilling and Completion Data Filing Requirements in Support of Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Information

Dec 19, 2012

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) announces

1) amendments to Directive 059: Well Drilling and Completion Data Filing Requirements to require submission and public disclosure of chemical and water use information related to hydraulic fracturing operations conducted in Alberta; and

2) provision of public access to well-specific summary hydraulic fracturing information via www.fracfocus.ca.

Together, these steps reflect a commitment by the ERCB to improve transparency respecting hydraulic fracturing operations in Alberta and support the Government of Alberta’s participation in the New West Partnership, a collaborative endeavour among the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

The amendments to Directive 059 will become effective on December 31, 2012. Note that the new submission and disclosure requirements apply to fracturing operations conducted after December 31, 2012, and do not apply retroactively.

Summary of Amendments to Directive 059
A summary of the key changes to Directive 059 can be found in the “What’s New” section of the directive. These changes include the following:

  • New requirements for licensees to electronically report fracture fluid data, including service provider, fracture scenario, carrier fluid type, proppant type, and fracturing fluid chemical additive and ingredient information for wells that have been fractured after December 31, 2012;
    • electronically report water source data, including source location, source type, diversion permit information, and volume for all water used in hydraulic fracturing operations with water quality information required for groundwater sources; and
    • report fracture fluid and water source data in daily records of operations.
  • Addition of protocols to provide limited protection of proprietary information associated with hydraulic fracturing fluids.
  • Clarification of the definition of a well when drilled and abandoned at a depth of 150 m or less.
  • Clarification and expansion on compliance assurance.
  • Replacement of the term “kickoff point” with “directional drill event.”

While the above amendments to Directive 059 will become effective on December 31, 2012, the ERCB will give licensees until June 30, 2013, to update their requirements and processes to facilitate electronic reporting of fracturing fluid information via the ERCB’s digital data submission (DDS) system.

Licensees should note that, as per the Directive 059 amendments, disclosure of fracturing fluid information will be required for fracturing operations at wells that are considered confidential wells under Section 12.150 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Regulation.

Improved Access to Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Information

The well-specific summary hydraulic fracturing fluid information received by the ERCB as a result of the amendments to Directive 059 will be accessible via www.fracfocus.ca. This website also provides general information about hydraulic fracturing and links to resources available from various regulatory agencies across Canada.

The water source information received by the ERCB as a result of the amendments to Directive 059 will be provided to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for its regulatory purposes.

The ERCB will monitor the effectiveness of the updated requirements throughout the period of January 1 to June 30, 2013, and, if necessary, will initiate requirement or process changes.

Additional Information

Directive 059 is available on the ERCB website at www.ercb.ca. Printed copies of the directive may be purchased from ERCB Information Services, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free); fax: 403-297-7040; e-mail: Inquiries@ercb.ca.

<original signed by>

Cindy Seibel
CIO and Executive Manager
Information and Systems Services Branch