Geoscience BC Announces Collaborative Regional Seismic Program

September 6, 2012 - Geoscience BC, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have partnered to launch a five-year $1 million collaborative geoscience program to study seismicity in northeast British Columbia. Geoscience BC and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers will equally share the program costs, and the BC Oil and Gas Commission and Natural Resources Canada will provide in-kind technical support.

Led by Geoscience BC, the program partners will install a state-of-the-art network to collect seismic data in northeast British Columbia. The seismic array network will include up to six new stations, which will complement two existing Canadian National Seismograph Network stations. It is anticipated that the installation work will be completed by late 2012. Once the array has been calibrated, real-time seismic data will be provided to researchers for analysis and interpretation.

Recently, geoscientists have applied their knowledge of rock mechanics and geophysics to develop tight gas reserves through multi-stage, high volume hydraulic fracturing completions of horizontal wells and monitoring these completions with microseismic geophone arrays. Along with the routine micro-seismicity created by hydraulic fracturing, some low magnitude seismic events were triggered in Northeast British Columbia by fluid injection during fracturing. The enhancements to the seismograph network will increase our understanding of this induced seismicity. Natural gas policy makers and regulators, the natural gas industry, First Nations and communities have a common interest in learning more about this issue to support the responsible development of British Columbia's natural gas resources, and the establishment of this seismic array network is one step in increasing the understanding of this relationship.

"Geoscience BC is pleased to launch this important and innovative project. Developing a seismic array network in northeast BC will help address key areas of concern shared by the public, provincial government and industry," said 'Lyn Anglin, President and CEO of Geoscience BC. "Geoscience BC brings its considerable experience developing, implementing and managing complex geoscience research projects to this initiative and looks forward in providing further insights and information. As with all of our research, the results of this program will be released to the public."

"Canada's natural gas industry supports increased seismic monitoring in the region that can assure the public and landowners that hydraulic fracturing can and will continue safely," said David Pryce, vice-president of operations for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "Upgrading the grid is an important step to better understand seismic activity in northeastern B.C. and, by making this data publicly available, it will encourage transparent performance reporting."

Natural Resources Canada is the federal department responsible for monitoring seismic activity across Canada. It is pleased to be a partner in this program noting that the additional seismic stations will significantly enhance its capability to detect and locate small earthquakes in northeastern BC and adjacent regions. It will provide data recorded by the new seismic stations in real-time at no cost from its website:

Geoscience BC is an industry-led, industry-focused not-for-profit society. Its mandate includes the collection, interpretation and marketing of geoscience data and expertise to promote investment in resource exploration and development in British Columbia. Geoscience BC is funded through grants from the Provincial Government and works in partnership with industry, academia, government, First Nations and communities to attract mineral and oil & gas investment to BC.