Water monitoring near our Dilly Creek shale gas operations in northeastern BC.
Nexen works to be in compliance with or exceed regulatory measures protecting water sources such as lakes, rivers and aquifers. This includes obtaining water withdrawal permits / licenses and reporting on water use. We also conduct comprehensive monitoring and share our data with regulators. Nexen is leading a more sustainable approach to sourcing water via continuous real time monitoring and varying our withdrawal amounts depending on water levels.
For each well we hydraulically fracture, we use approximately 42,000 cubic metres of fresh water. Nexen is advancing the testing of new technology, called Pressurized Fracturing On Demand
, that could enable us to use saline water as an alternative to fresh water in our shale operations.
Nexen works to ensure we look after water sources at each stage of our activity. Before we begin working on a site, we conduct a site assessment that accounts for any sensitive areas including surface water and location of underground aquifers, and make necessary modifications to ensure these areas we are mitigating potential negative impacts.
We construct our wells to ensure our hydraulic fracturing and production operations are isolated from groundwater and rock formations. Our shale gas wells have steel casing that is cemented in place and pressure tested to ensure that potable ground water is protected.
For our operations in northeast British Columbia, Nexen minimizes environmental risk of surface spills by injecting flowback water (water and sand that returns after fracturing) into deep disposal wells. These wells are between 600 and 800 metres deep within the Debolt formation. Disposal well activity is regulated by the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission according to the British Columbia Oil & Gas Activities Act. The fluid that is disposed must meet specific criteria and be injected into an isolated zone within the formation as determined by the Commission, including its composition and the pressure in which it can be injected.