Montney Water Project

Key Researcher(s):  ArrayB. J. R. HayesArrayBC Ministry of Energy and MinesArrayBC Ministry of EnvironmentArrayJ. Sui

Project ID(s):  2010-007, 2010-008, 2010-MNT002, 2010-MNT003

Key Research Organization(s):  Foundry Spatial Ltd., MAF Geographix, Lowen Hydrogeological Consulting, Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd., University of Northern British Columbia

Project Location:  Northeast BC

Strategic Focus Area:  Water


The Montney Play in northeast British Columbia is a world-class unconventional natural gas resource. Water is an essential component of shale gas development and is used for drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fraccing or fracking, is a process where a mixture of water and sand is injected into the deep shale at a high pressure to create small cracks in the rock which allows gas to flow.

The intent of the project was to complete an inventory and digital compilation of publicly available information on water resources in the Montney Play. Water resources included shallow aquifers, deep saline aquifers, and potential fluid disposal areas. As part of the project, data gap assessments were generated to identify future potential water study potential in the area.

In 2010, the Montney Water Project began in BC’s Northeast Region. This project was a collaborative effort by Geoscience BC in partnership with seven companies active in the area, with support from the BC SCEK (now the BC Oil and Gas Research and Innovation Society – BC OGRIS); the ministries of Energy and Mines, Environment and Healthy Living and Sport; and the Northern Health Authority. There were also contributions from the Kiskatinaw River Watershed Project being undertaken at the University of Northern British Columbia in partnership with the City of Dawson Creek.

The project was divided into four major components: Surface Water Investigations Supporting the Montney Water Project, Shallow Groundwater and Quaternary Geology Investigations Supporting the Montney Water Project, Deep Bedrock Aquifer and Disposal Zone Investigations Supporting the Montney Water Project and Kiskatinaw River Watershed Investigation Supporting the Montney Water Project.

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