Digging Deep: Geoscience BC 2021 Energy & Water Projects – March 2022

By: Randy Hughes, Manager, Energy & Water

Geoscience BC released the Summary of Activities 2021: Energy & Water in January 2022. It contains ten papers for Geoscience BC projects and scholarship recipients. The papers contribute to meeting five strategic objectives from the Geoscience BC Strategic Plan 2018-2022: Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities; Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies; Facilitating Responsible Natural Resource Development; Enabling Clean Energy, and Understanding Water.

Brief descriptions and links to projects,papers and scholarship recipient information are provided below. Alternatively, the complete Summary of Activities 2021: Energy & Water document can be downloaded as one document.

Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities
The first paper in the Summary of Activities 2021: Energy & Water focuses on the NEBC Lithium- Formation Water Database, a new Geoscience BC project aimed at compiling an initial inventory data set of lithium and other dissolved-metal brine data for northeastern British Columbia (BC).

Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies
The Advancing Science and Innovative Geoscience Technologies section begins with a paper highlighting the Saltworks AirBreather Pilot, a pilot project testing a zero-liquid-discharge technology that could provide BC’s oil and gas sector with an economic and sustainable alternative for produced water disposal. The second paper in this section features scholarship recipient Samantha Mackie of the University of Calgary examining the local stratigraphic and facies context related to hydrogen-sulphide distribution within the Montney Formation.

Facilitating Responsible Natural Resource Development
The next three papers focus primarily on induced seismicity in northeastern BC. Scholarship recipient Ali Mehrabifard of the University of British Columbia considers the effects of Montney formation stiffness on injection-induced seismicity. An update is provided by Bei Wang on the Comprehensive Investigation of Injection-Induced Earthquakes in Northeastern British Columbia project, for which researchers are developing a model to better understand seismogenic behaviours of injection wells in the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area. Finally, scholarship recipient Zahra Esmaeilzadeh of the University of Calgary investigates the fault-sealing effects on induced seismicity and pore pressure distribution in northeastern BC.

Enabling Clean Energy
In the Enabling Clean Energy section, a summary is provided on the enhanced BC Natural Gas Atlas which includes a compilation of natural gas data, research, publications and maps.

The next two papers focus on geothermal research, the first an update on geothermal studies in southwestern BC for the Garibaldi Geothermal Volcanic Belt Assessment Project, followed by scholarship recipient Cedar Hanneson of the University of Alberta discussing magnetotelluric investigations of geothermal systems in southern BC.

Understanding Water
Finally, in the Understanding Water section, an update is provided on the Pilot Collaborative Water Monitoring Program in northeastern BC.

Published Reports in 2021
Geoscience BC also released interim and final Geoscience BC reports and maps in 2021.