Presentation 2017-005

Author(s) Date 2017-05-15

Water allocation and use by the oil and gas sector is of interest and concern to many Albertans. This sector has many uses for water, be it for industrial purposes, drilling wells, processing and transporting oil sands ore, extracting oil sands using steam assisted methods, and in enhanced recovery operations to optimize extraction of conventional hydrocarbons. One of the more current uses for water is for hydraulic fracturing. The volumes of water used in hydraulic fracturing along with the size of the potential resource raise concerns about how much water it might take to fracture the reservoirs in thousands of potential wells, and depending on the source of that water, if that volume of water is available for use without affecting natural systems in unexpected or unacceptable ways. This work focuses on understanding allocations and uses of non-saline water within an area of active exploration and development in Montney and Duvernay formations. Sectoral trends of non-saline water use are evaluated, with a focus on core areas of Duvernay Formation exploration and development in particular to understand the potential consequences of non-saline water diversions for hydraulic fracturing in comparison to available non-saline water resources. Findings suggest that the effects of development are likely minimal to date, with the need to monitor ongoing development scenarios important to ensure the conclusion is correct and that future use scenarios continue to have acceptable effects on the non-saline water systems of the area.

NTS Keywords

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists GeoConvention, 2017