Key Researcher(s):  B. J. R. Hayes, Fort Nelson First Nation, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd., SkyTEM Surveys

Project ID(s):  2009-HR002, 2011-004, 2011-009, 2011-013, 2017-007

Key Research Organization(s):  Fort Nelson First Nation, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd., Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd., SkyTEM Canada Inc.

Project Location:  Northeast BC

Focus Area:  Water


Horn River Basin Aquifer Project Area

Phase 1

In 2008, Geoscience BC secured $5 million in funding from the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, dedicated to geoscience studies supporting timely and efficient appraisal and development of the enormous shale gas resource of the Horn River Basin. In consultation with the Horn River Basin Producers Group (HRBPG), Geoscience BC determined a key geoscience challenge in identifying aquifers capable of producing high volumes of water to support completions (fraccing) operations, and also capable of accepting disposal of large volumes of spent frac fluids. The Horn River Basin Aquifer Characterization Project, a cooperative effort between Geoscience BC and the HRBPG, was conceived as a result, and Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd. (PRCL) was appointed project manager. In a series of meetings commencing November 2008, three primary project objectives were defined:
  • Synthesize available geological information to produce a stratigraphic framework for hydrogeological / aquifer analysis.
  • Facilitate collection of aquifer and fluid data from new Producer Group wells, particularly those being drilled for water supply and disposal.
  • Undertake a systematic hydrogeological investigation of potential aquifers in the Horn River Basin in order to quantify and map reservoir capacity and productivity / injectivity potential.

Phase 2

In September 2011, Geoscience BC and the HRBPG launched Phase II of a collaborative geoscience project to undertake baseline research on water resources in the Horn River Basin. Phase II of the Horn River Basin Water Study expands and builds on the deep saline aquifer research completed in Phase I, to include surface and ground water hydrological research. Specifically, Phase II of the Horn River Basin Water Study includes three core components:
  • A three-year surface water study focused on collecting data on the quantity and quality of surface water sources in the Horn River Basin and assessing its availability for shale gas development. Kerr Wood Leidal Associated Ltd. (KWL) carried out this work with assistance from Peace Country Technical Services, Environmental Dynamics Inc. and Waterline Resources.
  • A previously announced pilot project to examine the applicability of airborne electromagnetic surveys to mapping of near-surface groundwater. The data collection was completed in April 2011 by SkyTEM Canada Inc.
  • A continuation of the Phase I data collection and integration on select deep saline aquifers. This work is being undertaken by PRCL.

Phase 3

  • For details click here.