The BC Oil and Gas Commission has issued new monitoring and mitigation rules for hydraulic fracturing operators after a surge in drilling activity coincided with an increase in low level seismic events.
The requirements, which impact the Farmington area of the Montney play, are believed to be first of their kind in the oil and gas sector anywhere.
BCOG spokeswoman Amy Bronee says there has been a noticeable increase in activity in the Farmington area, from seven operators with 28 wells rig released in 2016 to 128 wells in 2017.
Residents in the Dawson Creek to Taylor area have expressed a number of concerns over the pace and scale of development, she says.
“The Commission has noticed a series of ongoing, low level – but felt – seismic events arising from hydraulic fracturing in the Farmington area. While the magnitudes and ground motion associated with these events is low, the Commission recognizes it can be disturbing for area residents and feels designating this area and the requirements on companies will help address those concerns,” Bronee told JWN.
“The intent of this Order is to ensure companies are notifying residents when undertaking completion operations at a well where there could be induced seismic – and felt – events. Opening lines of communication with those most likely to be affected can help reduce concerns and provides residents with a contact person to notify, if an event occurs.”
The strict new requirements provide residents with advance notification that they may experience an event during hydraulic fracturing as well as what to do if that happens, she said.