With a liquefied natural gas industry quickly becoming a reality, British Columbians need to know that hydraulic fracturing in B.C. is safely managed as natural gas activity increases.
A new independent report by Ernst & Young found British Columbia has a robust regulatory framework in place to oversee hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, the Ernst & Young report stated, “the issues presented by hydraulic fracturing are being effectively managed” by the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the provincial regulator.
The report also states, “none of the opportunities constitute major failings of the regulatory framework, nor do we believe that there are any significant sources of risk that remain untouched by regulation.” In other words, Ernst & Young didn’t find any gaps in B.C.’s regulations - but rather identified opportunities to strengthen B.C.’s approach.
This report adds to the growing body of work that supports the fact that B.C. has world-leading hydraulic fracturing regulations, including the Human Health Risk Assessment Report (March 2015) which found B.C.’s existing regulatory framework is extensive and broadly protective of human health.
Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman -
“This independent report confirms what we’ve been saying for years - British Columbia has a robust regulatory framework governing hydraulic fracturing. In fact, this is the second recent impartial review to find B.C. has a strong regulatory framework. British Columbians can have confidence they are benefitting from a clean, well regulated natural gas industry.”
Paul Jeakins, commissioner, BC Oil and Gas Commission -
“We accept all the recommendations, and are working to strengthen our provisions. It’s encouraging to know we are doing well, and we won’t ever stop making sure natural gas and LNG are conducted in a manner that protects health, safety and the environment.”
- Hydraulic fracturing has been conducted safely in British Columbia for more than 50 years.
- Hydraulic fracturing is a process used to free natural gas contained within shale formations, the most commonly occurring type of sedimentary rock in northeast B.C. In shale formations, the natural gas molecules are held in the reservoir rock. Hydraulic fracturing is used to create small cracks in the rock that stimulates the flow of gas into the well bore.
- There has never been a reported incident of groundwater contamination as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations in B.C.
- British Columbia was the first province in Canada to regulate the mandatory disclosure of ingredients used in the hydraulic fracturing process. The online registry, found at FracFocus.ca, provides a transparent accounting of each well drilled and includes water data.
- As the provincial regulator, the BC Oil and Gas Commission ensures oil and gas operations in B.C. are done safely to protect the environment and communities.
Read the report: www.bcogc.ca/node/12471/download
Hydraulic fracturing factsheet: www.bcogc.ca/node/11416/download
BC Oil and Gas Commission: www.bcogc.ca
Ministry of Natural Gas Development