New Research to Guide Disposal of Wastewater from Natural Gas Development in BC’s Northeast

Vancouver, BC – January 31, 2020 – A new Geoscience BC research project will help natural gas operators in British Columbia’s Northeast Region to continue safe disposal of wastewater by identifying suitable zones in underground rock formations.

Called Wastewater Disposal in the Maturing Montney Play Fairway of NEBC, the project is identifying and characterizing disposal zones for the waste fluids used and recovered during natural gas operations in the Montney Play, where much of British Columbia’s natural gas development takes place. The new independent data can be used by operators, governments, community leaders and Indigenous groups to make informed, evidence-based decisions about continued natural gas development.

Project lead Dr. Brad Hayes said: "New wastewater disposal zones are needed to support continued development of natural gas resources in northeast British Columbia’s Montney Play. This multidisciplinary project is producing public data that evaluates suitable wastewater disposal zones.

Geoscience BC Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas said: “As natural gas development continues in northeast BC, operators and the regulator need independent scientific research to evaluate suitable reservoirs that can be used for wastewater disposal.”

The researchers will integrate geological information with well production and well disposal data from a range of sources to generate a suite of maps that can guide operators and regulators when considering where to drill disposal wells in locations below the base of usable groundwater.

The project results will guide the responsible management of wastewater produced during natural gas development and address a key focus area recommended in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources’ March 2019 Scientific Review of Hydraulic Fracturing in British Columbia report.

Accessing Information

View project pages 2019-004 for more information.

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For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman
Geoscience BC
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