September 29, 2011

Nexen was part of a Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) team that developed new guiding principles for hydraulic fracturing. These CAPP principles will guide water management and water and fluids reporting practices for shale gas development in Canada.

Nexen is developing shale gas in the Horn River Basin in northeast British Columbia and is also exploring development opportunities in Colombia and Poland.

Shale gas is natural gas that is produced in an ‘unconventional’ way. The gas is tightly locked in very small spaces within shale rock formations. To unlock it, Nexen uses advanced technology to horizontally drill and crack (fracture) the gas-bearing zones. This fracturing process uses a high-pressure fluid made up of approximately 99.5% water and sand with the remainder consisting of chemicals that are added to enhance the production process. Because hydraulic fracturing involves using significant quantities of water along with some chemicals, there’s been an increased focus on both water use and water quality. Nexen has taken a proactive approach to water management in our shale gas development in B.C. Our commitment to responsible water use guides our operations. Read more about our shale gas water management practices.

CAPP's Guiding Principles for Hydraulic Fracturing

Canada’s shale gas and tight gas industry supports a responsible approach to water management and is committed to continuous performance improvement. Protecting our water resources during sourcing, use and handing is a key priority for our industry. We support and abide by all regulations governing hydraulic fracturing operations, water use and protection.

In addition, we commit to following these guiding principles for hydraulic fracturing:

  • We will safeguard the quality and quantity of regional surface and groundwater resources, through sound wellbore construction practices, sourcing fresh water alternatives where appropriate, and recycling water for reuse as much as practical.
  • We will measure and disclose water use with the goal of continuing to reduce our effect on the environment.
  • We will support the development of fracturing fluid additives with the least environmental risks.
  • We will support the disclosure of fracturing fluid additives.
  • We will continue to advance, collaborate on and communicate technologies and best practices that reduce the potential environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing.