The Horn River basin in northeast British Columbia (NEBC) is estimated to contain trillions of cubic feet of shale gas. It also contains 42 distinct watersheds. As Nexen continues to explore and develop shale gas lands in Horn River and neighbouring basins, we’re taking proactive steps to protect regional water quality and quantity. One way we’re doing this is through an intensive, multi-million-dollar monitoring network that gives us a site-specific understanding of the natural range of variability (including water flow and baseline water quality) observed in the lakes and rivers near our existing and potential production sites.

Another part of Nexen’s water management approach in NEBC is to draw and store water during specific times of high water flow, such as spring snowmelt runoff (or spring surges). The water is then stored for use in well development operations (e.g., hydraulic fracturing) during the late summer and fall, which are typically periods of lower water availability. Temporary water storage sites known as “borrow pits,” which are sometimes created during the construction of well pads, access roads and plant sites, help support this strategy by providing accessible sources of stored water for our operations.

This “big picture” approach to water management is enabling Nexen to balance the region’s natural flow patterns with water use of our shale gas operations. We’re also upholding our commitment to transparency by providing regulators with weekly water monitoring and withdrawal reports as well as raw hydrometric data from the Tsea watershed.

View our weekly water monitoring and withdrawal reports.

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