New Energy Research Assesses Northeast BC Formations for Wastewater Storage Potential

Vancouver, BC – November 1, 2021 – A new research report and data set provide detail on potentially suitable geologic storage for wastewater from natural gas operations in northeast British Columbia’s (NEBC) Montney Play region.

Deciding where to place a disposal well can be a complex process, especially in northeast BC’s maturing Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, where suitable disposal zones are increasingly difficult to find.

The Wastewater Disposal in the Maturing Montney Play Fairway of NEBC project includes 10 conclusions and eight recommendations. This includes that of 13 formations assessed, seven are potentially suitable for wastewater disposal. Each of these seven formations was mapped to highlight areas within them where wastewater disposal may be appropriate.

Research lead Dr. Brad Hayes said: “This report and accompanying data provide essential new knowledge about potentially suitable locations for disposal of wastewater from natural gas operations in the Montney Play region. It can be used by the regulator, operators, governments, community leaders and Indigenous groups to make informed, evidence-based decisions about continued natural gas development and to guide future research.”

“The BC Oil and Gas Commission is highly appreciative of the work by Geoscience BC and the report authors in providing information that supports safe and effective deep disposal,” said Ron Stefik, Supervisor, Reservoir Engineering. “The Commission has undertaken significant improvements in regulation and data collection of this activity, which the report supports, and it will be a valuable reference in identifying opportunities for sustainable development.”

The independent, peer-reviewed research addresses wastewater disposal knowledge gaps in the Montney Play region identified by the Scientific Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel, operators, and the BC Oil and Gas Commission. It integrates hydrogeology, geomechanics, reservoir characterization (including petrophysics), and structural geology to evaluate suitable wastewater disposal zones below the base of usable groundwater.

Accessing Data
View the project page (2019-004) for more information.

View project page             View project in Earth Science Viewer

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For more information, please contact:
Richard Truman
Geoscience BC